A fentanyl overdose is a medical emergency. If you or someone you know is experiencing overdose symptoms, immediately contact 911 or the Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222) for help.
Fentanyl is a common medication used to address severe pain in a controlled setting. It is one of the strongest opioids on the market, and it is only available through a doctor’s prescription. Unfortunately, because Fentanyl is such a potent pain medication, it has also become popular on the street. Opioid use is on the rise, and according to information published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2021 alone, there were more than 71,000 deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids alone.
As a powerful pain medication, fentanyl is also heavily prone to substance abuse, which is why it is important to understand how a fentanyl overdose may appear and what the treatment options are.
According to information shared by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is approximately 100 times more powerful than morphine. Even though this makes fentanyl a powerful painkiller, it can also make it highly prone to opioid addiction concerns. Fentanyl targets receptors in the brain to provide rapid pain relief in small doses.
Due to fentanyl being such a powerful pain medication, it is very tightly controlled by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Much of the fentanyl found on the street has a manufactured illegally. Fentanyl found on the street is commonly mixed with other illicit substances. Examples include
When these drugs are mixed together, they can create a powerful cocktail that increases the chances of someone suffering a fentanyl overdose. There are even situations where someone may believe they are purchasing something else, but end up with fentanyl instead.
As an example, one recently published research study found that the majority of people who died of a drug overdose tested positive for not only fentanyl but a number of other illegal drugs.
Because of fentanyl’s potency, it does not take much to lead to an overdose. That is why it is important to recognize Fentanyl overdoses as quickly as possible. That way, everyone can get the care they need.
Fentanyl doses are typically prescribed in micrograms. Therefore, it does not require a lot of fentanyl for someone to suffer an overdose. Everyone has different reactions to both illicit drugs and prescription medications, and the exact symptoms of a fentanyl overdose can vary depending on how much someone has taken and what their tolerance is.
Some of the most common symptoms that could indicate a fentanyl overdose include:
A fentanyl overdose is a medical emergency, and medical attention is required as quickly as possible. Contact 911 if you believe you or someone you know is overdosing.
There are a number of reasons why fentanyl overdoses have become so common. They include:
Furthermore, there are several risk factors that could make it more likely for someone to suffer a fentanyl overdose. They include:
Substance use disorders can happen to anyone, and unfortunately, substance abuse issues surrounding fentanyl have become more common. The sooner someone recognizes a fentanyl overdose, the faster medical intervention can take place.
If you believe you have come across someone who is suffering from a fentanyl overdose, there are several steps you should take. They include:
With rapid medical intervention, these steps could save someone’s life.
Once someone who has suffered a fentanyl overdose is brought to a medical facility, steps will be taken to ensure they’re breathing. CPR and rescue breathing might be required, and a breathing tube may need to be inserted to help someone maintain circulation.
Then, it is important to discuss long-term care options for someone who has suffered an opioid overdose. A fentanyl or carfentanil overdose could be a sign of a deeper substance abuse problem. That means comprehensive mental health treatment could be required. A few examples of treatment options that could be beneficial include:
Anyone who requires mental health treatment should have access to it. It’s important to reach out to a treatment facility like Riverside Recovery to see what resources and options are available for opioid addiction.
To learn more about treatment options for fentanyl addiction, reach out to a Riverside Recovery admissions coordinator today.
You do not have to go through this situation alone. Contact us today to speak to a member of our team.
CDC, National Center for Health Statistics–U.S. Overdose Deaths In 2021 Increased Half as Much as in 2020 – But Are Still Up 15%
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control–Fentanyl Fact
National Institute on Drug Abuse–What is Fentanyl?