The synthetic opioid fentanyl has been an increasing topic of discussion in the United States within the past ten years. From A-list celebrities to pre-teen children, fentanyl addictions and overdoses are sharply rising. Fentanyl addiction treatment and resources are not readily available for most people, which are sources that could help significantly reduce fentanyl addiction and overdose rates in the US.
At Rockland Recovery, we strive to provide people with as many resources for fentanyl education, addiction, and treatment options as possible. Reach out to our specialists today at 855.732.4842 to learn more.
Can Fentanyl Kill?
Synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, are highly addictive drugs, but can fentanyl kill? The short answer is yes, fentanyl can kill people and is responsible for the death of tens of thousands of Americans every year.
A safe and effective painkiller in the medical setting, fentanyl is an extremely risky drug to take recreationally. The fentanyl that people are consuming recreationally is more often than not manufactured illicitly in home labs. It is relatively cheap and easy to make in large quantities, so many drug dealers will cut other drugs with fentanyl, such as heroin or cocaine, for a higher profit. This drug is potentially lethal on its own, and even more so if the consumer is not aware that it is mixed in with the drug they bought.
Why Is Fentanyl So Deadly?
The main cause of fentanyl’s lethality is potency. The lethal dose of fentanyl is widely considered to be around 2 milligrams, depending on the person’s body size, past usage, and frequency of usage. For comparison, a lethal dose of heroin is estimated to be around 200 milligrams. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of how potent fentanyl is, and the risk of overdose skyrockets if it is consumed unknowingly.
In addition to potency, the lethality of fentanyl is largely due to drug dealers mixing it with other drugs to make more money. Not only easy and cheap to make, but fentanyl is also highly addictive and will have dealers’ customers returning. Therefore, many drug users will consume fentanyl unknowingly. A person using a drug with a higher lethal dose, such as heroin, will consume a larger quantity to feel its effects. If that drug is cut with fentanyl, there is a significantly increased likelihood of a fatal interaction.
Signs of a Fentanyl Overdose
Within the past ten years, drug dealers are increasingly mixing fentanyl in with all types of illegal substances. As a result, fentanyl addiction is on the rise, with hospitals seeing large numbers of overdose cases daily. Even if you do not use drugs, knowing the signs of a fentanyl overdose and what to do should you ever encounter this situation is crucial.
The main signs of a fentanyl overdose are:
- Falling asleep, losing consciousness, or unresponsiveness
- Limp body
- Miniscule pupils, also known as “pinpoint pupils”
- Choking or gurgling sounds
- Abnormal breathing
- Cold and/or clammy skin
- Discolored skin, specifically the nails or lips
These signs can be seen individually or concurrently and should be taken seriously. If a person remains conscious but exhibits some of these symptoms, they may still be experiencing an overdose and need medical attention immediately.
In an overdose situation, the first step is to call 911. While waiting for paramedics, there are other steps to help the person overdosing. Administering naloxone, if available, can be a life-saving step. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it reverses the effects of opioids and can quickly restore normal breathing. Other crucial steps to help a person who is overdosing are turning them onto their side to prevent choking, keeping them awake and breathing, and waiting with them until paramedics arrive.
Find Fentanyl Addiction Treatment at Rockland Recovery
Though fentanyl-related medical emergencies, such as overdose, can occur with one single use, they can also be a sign of addiction. People who experience fentanyl addiction may struggle to find the resources they need. At Rockland Recovery, we are committed to reducing the number of fentanyl overdoses by providing top-of-the-line treatment for people struggling with addiction and for family members.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Reach out to one of our fentanyl addiction specialists at 855.732.4842 today.