Fentanyl Use in the U.S.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever. It is regularly prescribed by doctors to patients that are struggling with severe pain. The drug relieves intense pain. However, it is a very potent substance and therefore also highly addictive. It is said to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is easy for individuals to misuse and abuse fentanyl, leading to possible overdoses, in the United States. Due to the fact that it is prescribed frequently and can easily be given to others. Some individuals may even become addicted without knowing. It is a powerful drug and some people may get attached to the feeling it gives them. They may not feel as those they are addicted because it is a prescribed medication. It isn’t something they are buying illegally off the street.
The Dangers Of Fentanyl
There is, however, illegally made fentanyl. This kind of fentanyl can be harmful, it has led to overdoses and even death in the United States. It is so harmful because it is often mixed with heroin and/or cocaine. This is a very intense and sometimes deadly combination. In order to prevent these unnecessary deaths, it is important that people are educated on the negative effects of taking this drug. Communities also need to become aware of the warning signs of addiction. If an individual or their loved ones aren’t aware there is an issue it can be extremely difficult to get help. Doctors also need to be more aware of who they are prescribing fentanyl to. When evaluating a patient they should take the time to properly assess if this individual truly needs a prescription. It is also important that patients are made aware of the potential of addiction when taking a fentanyl prescription. The more information everyone has in this case the better. It is never a bad thing to be too informed when it comes to the risks of addiction.
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Fentanyl Related Deaths
Addiction is a deadly illness. The more it consumes an individual, the harder it is to seek recovery and get better. There has been an increase across the United States when it comes to the drug crisis. Overall, states in the U.S. saw a rise in overdoses death rates involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The rate of opioid deaths was 1 person per every 100,000 people from 2010 to 2013. From 2013 to 2015 that rate went up to 3.1 people per every 100,000 people. Similar increases of overdose death rates were seen in synthetic opioid overdoses as well. There was a 73% increase in synthetic opioid deaths across the U.S. from 2014 to 2015. Over the span of 2012 to 2015 there was an overall 264% increase. This is a staggering number showing that the rise of drug use and drug-related deaths were only increasing over that time.
It is important that preventative measures are taken across the United States. This starts with educating children in school about the negative side effects of drug use. It also starts with programs and treatment available in all cities to assist individual’s struggling with addiction.
Fighting Against the Drug Crisis
Addiction issues are on the rise across the nation. The rate of deaths involving synthetic opioids increased by 10% from 2017 to 2018. In 2018 alone 31,000 people died from overdoses that involved fentanyl. This is a serious and deadly issue. Many people are not aware of the drug crisis going on around their town or city. Some individuals that are abusing substances may be suffering in silence. According to law enforcement, a lot of the increase in use has to do with illegally made fentanyl. This is the type that often leads to overdoses and sometimes even death. Individuals need to be made aware of the risks they are taking by consuming these drugs. Children also need to be made aware. So what is there to do about this growing issue?
In order to fight against the increased fentanyl abuse, the CDC has suggested actions that can be taken. The CDC stands for the center for disease control. The whole purpose of the CDC is to save lives and protect people from health threats within the United States. The CDC has suggested that public health departments increase their ability to detect drug overdose outbreaks across the nation. This is done by using existing surveillance systems. The CDC also suggests that emergency departments should report opioid overdose cases within 48 hours. The tracking of demographics and risk factors associated with addiction would also be helpful. The public should be knowledgable on this topic. It is also suggested that medical examiners and coroners routinely test for fentanyl when it comes to overdoses. This should especially be the case in areas where use of fentanyl is increasing and overdoses are becoming more common.
Another key factor in fighting this crisis is law enforcement. It is important that law enforcement can identify and respond to the distribution of illegally made fentanyl. Stopping the spread of this drug is key to preventing more overdoses in the future. Those that are illegally making and distributing this drug need to be found and held accountable. For those cities and town that are vulnerable to this, it can have a negative impact on that area. More drug use can lead to higher unemployment and crime rates.
There is also always the option of Naloxone. This is an effective antidote to opioid-related overdoses. This can save lives when necessary. Educating those that are struggling with opioid addiction or their families is key. By knowing how to administer Naloxone, many lives can be saved.
When dealing with any kind of addiction issue the first step is for an individual to realize that there is a problem. If an individual is struggling with addiction but resistant to seeking help an intervention may be necessary. It is important that a loved one is aware enough to notice the change in behavior of the one who has become addicted. Resources and treatment should be available in every city and state. The path towards recovery begins with treatment.
When dealing with a loved one that has a fentanyl addiction it is best to seek out treatment for them. There are plenty of centers that focus on opioid addiction only. Treatment can provide individuals with the help they need. In order to get better, they will need proper care and support to beat the addiction. Therapy, support groups, and detoxification can get patients to a better future in a matter of weeks or months. Patients can have as much as little of support and supervision as the program they choose. If your loved one needs help get them an intervention. Often it takes the love and support of friends and family to get a patient into rehab.
It is important that individuals find a program that works for them. Going to a treatment center that focuses solely on their issue can be extremely helpful. It is beneficial to know what kind of treatment would work best for the one abusing substances. Some patients do better in long-term treatment while others thrive on short-term treatment. Either way, it is important to get help. Have questions or concerns about treatment? What to know more about addiction? Give us a call at 918-779-0011.