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Dangers of Using Fentanyl

a doctor puts their hand on a patient's shoulder to warn them about the dangers of fentanyl use

Each year, thousands of people in the United States experience an overdose. Over the past few decades, opioids have become a significant health concern in all communities. One drug in particular, fentanyl, has become the biggest threat to the health and well-being of many individuals with substance use disorder. Knowing more about the dangers of fentanyl can save lives and help prevent overdoses. If you or someone you care about is struggling with fentanyl addiction, we at Evoke Waltham would be more than happy to help you toward recovery.

The Opioid Epidemic has claimed thousands of lives, and every day more and more people succumb to addiction and dependence on opioids. We at Evoke Waltham are committed to treating addiction like the disease and giving patients with substance use disorders the support they deserve to stop using dangerous drugs like fentanyl. We offer various treatment options tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Contact us today at 866.276.1920 to learn more about our treatment programs at our Massachusetts opioid rehab.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is prescribed to treat severe pain. It is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and its use has become increasingly common in recent years due to the rise of opioid abuse and overdoses. Fentanyl works by binding to the brain’s opioid receptors, which are responsible for controlling pain signals.

Fentanyl is available in various forms, including tablets, patches, lozenges, and nasal sprays. It can also be produced illegally as a powder or mixed with other drugs such as heroin or cocaine. This illicit street version of fentanyl is often far more potent than prescription versions because it is not regulated by laws governing pharmaceuticals. Fentanyl is often referred to by several street names, including:

  • Apache
  • China Girl
  • Goodfellas
  • Great Bear
  • Poison
  • Dance Fever
  • He-Man

Understanding the dangers of fentanyl use and recognizing its signs can help save lives. Knowing how to respond effectively in case of an overdose is also essential.

How Dangerous Is Fentanyl?

The dangers of fentanyl have become increasingly clear in recent years due to its involvement in the growing opioid epidemic. The drug has been linked to an alarming number of overdose deaths across the United States. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that in 2021 alone, there were nearly 80,411 reported overdose deaths involving opioids like fentanyl, a significant increase over the 68,630 reported overdose deaths in 2020.

One of the most significant dangers of using fentanyl comes from its potential for addiction or overdose. Fentanyl is highly addictive due to how quickly it affects the brain and body, meaning users can become dependent on it quickly if they are not careful. Additionally, because of its potency, users may take too much without knowing it, resulting in an accidental overdose which can be fatal if not treated immediately. Overdose symptoms include:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Blue lips or fingernails
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Nausea or vomiting

Another significant danger when using fentanyl involves mixing it with other drugs like alcohol or cocaine in practice, known as “polydrug use.” This increases the risk of overdose significantly due to the unpredictable reaction of multiple drugs at once. Mixing fentanyl with other drugs also dramatically increases the chances of developing an addiction.

Despite its risks, it still has medical uses, and doctors prescribe fentanyl when other treatments are deemed inadequate or ineffective. However, it should only be taken under careful medical supervision.

Enter Massachusetts Opioid Rehab at Evoke Waltham

If you suspect that someone you care about is addicted to fentanyl, then they need professional help right away. To learn more about the dangers of opioid use, you can speak to the experts here at Evoke Waltham. Our team members are passionate about guiding members of our community affected by addiction to fentanyl and other opioids. We also offer comprehensive addiction rehab programs for opioids and other substances. Our patients benefit from the state-of-the-art facilities and inviting amenities in our treatment centers. There’s no better time than now to stop using opioids. Contact us today at 866.276.1920 to learn more about the dangers of fentanyl and how we can help.