The opioid epidemic has reached an all-time high in the U.S. In fact, rates of overdose have increased to a staggering 200 people a day. There have been a record number of opioid-related deaths. Therefore, it’s important for addiction and health experts to identify key issues that may be contributing to these numbers, one of which is a drug known as fentanyl. Highly potent opioids like it may be responsible for a sharp increase in recent overdoses in addition to heroin and other types of painkillers. Clearly, the dangers of fentanyl require a closer look.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is often mixed with other drugs and ingested, at times unwittingly by people buying narcotics on the street. When someone takes it without a strong enough tolerance to opioids, even a small amount can cause them to overdose. Dealers that mix fentanyl with other drugs are creating very potent and dangerous substances that have damaging consequences.
Fentanyl has been linked to thousands of overdose deaths in the US and Canada in recent years. In 2017 alone, there were more than 28,000 confirmed or suspected fentanyl-related fatalities in the United States, making it one of the leading causes of opioid-related death. Since then, the number of overdoses involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids has continued to increase. In 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, were involved in approximately 45% of all opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States.
One of the other issues with fentanyl is that it is much more powerful and yet also much cheaper than other types of opioids. Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids have been flooding the U.S. market, most of which are coming in from China. U.S. officials are working to slow down the flow of drugs like it entering the country.
Fentanyl Deaths Continue to Climb
Recently, deaths involving fentanyl have been increasing even while overdoses involving prescription opioids have mostly leveled off. Compared to other types of opioids it has an even higher risk for addiction and overdose because of its potency. It is especially dangerous and often fatal when combined with other substances, even alcohol.
Opioid abusers may become addicted to fentanyl when they develop a tolerance to their usual prescription drugs and are looking for something stronger. Fentanyl has become a threat not only to addiction rates but also to increasing rates of overdose and opioid-related deaths.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment
Treatment options vary depending on the individual’s level of addiction and preferences. Generally, an inpatient program may be recommended to help individuals struggling with a severe dependency on fentanyl. Inpatient treatment can include medical detoxification, behavioral therapy, and group counseling. Outpatient treatment may also be recommended for individuals with less severe addictions, allowing them to receive care while continuing to work or attend school.
Recovery from fentanyl addiction is an ongoing process that can take months or even years. It’s important to understand that relapse is common and part of the recovery journey. However, with the right treatment and support, individuals can overcome their addiction and return to a healthy lifestyle. By seeking proper medical care and connecting with a community of supportive individuals, those struggling with fentanyl addiction can learn to:
- Manage their cravings
- Develop healthier coping mechanisms
- Achieve lasting sobriety
Get the Help You Need From Seasons in Malibu
At Seasons in Malibu, we provide evidence-based treatment for fentanyl addiction. Our experienced team of clinicians and medical professionals can help individuals achieve long-term recovery from substance misuse disorders.
We offer a variety of addiction services, including inpatient and outpatient programs, individual therapy, family counseling, and holistic modalities. Our caring staff will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your individual needs. With the right tools and support, you can find lasting sobriety and begin living the life you deserve. Contact us today at 424.235.2009 to learn how we can help.