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Fentanyl Abuse and Overdose Statistics Reveal an Alarming Trend

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Considering the amount of drug abuse and addiction around us, do you ever wonder if it will ever end?  When one drug seems to cause more overdoses with each passing year, it seems unlikely.  Every year, more people die from overdoses caused by Fentanyl abuse than any other illicit drug.  

Recent studies show a decline in heroin and oxycodone overdoses.  While decline is good news, another drug crisis is on the rise.  Specifically fentanyl abuse, addictions, and overdoses.

These fentanyl facts and statistics will help you gain a deeper understanding of the fentanyl crisis in America today.

Fentanyl Abuse: Current Statistics May Shock You

In the past five years, fentanyl overdose deaths spiked significantly.  In many cases, the person was unaware that fentanyl was present in their drug of choice.  Because fentanyl is highly potent and relatively cheap, dealers add it to their street drugs to increase profits.  Dealers don’t share this information with buyers, thus fueling an epidemic of addictions and overdoses.

Here are the most recent statistics on fentanyl overdose deaths:

  • The CDC reports that fentanyl overdose deaths surged 279% since 2016.  
  • Fentanyl causes the highest fatal overdose rates of any drug among all age groups.
  • In 2021, 67% of the 107,375 fatal overdoses involved fentanyl.
  • About 150 people die daily in America due to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
  • Fentanyl causes more deaths of people under the age of 50 than cancer, heart disease, auto accidents, or suicides.

DEA administrator, Anne Milgram, provides the following statement regarding fentanyl:

“Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered.  Fentanyl is everywhere.  From large metropolitan areas to rural America, no community is safe from this poison.  We must take every opportunity to spread the word to prevent fentanyl-related overdose deaths and poisonings from claiming scores of American lives every day.”

Why Is Fentanyl Abuse So Widespread?

Fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid, is 50 times stronger than heroin.  Heroin users have a high tolerance level.  Their increased tolerance creates the need for stronger substances.  Fentanyl is typically the substance they switch to. 

When it comes to fentanyl, the old adage “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” doesn’t hold true.  Many people who use cocaine, meth, heroin, or marijuana ingest fentanyl unknowingly.  Either they suffer an overdose, are left with a fentanyl addiction.  Afterward, they seek fentanyl as their drug of choice.

What Does Fentanyl Look Like?

There are two main forms of fentanyl: powder and liquid.  The powder can be formed into pills that mimic legal drugs such as Xanax or Percocet.  The liquid form replaces heroin and is generally sold as eye drops or nasal sprays.  

One significant danger of fentanyl is that it is not easily detected.  It’s almost impossible to know if you have fentanyl-laced cocaine or heroin.  You can’t smell, taste, or see fentanyl.  However, inexpensive fentanyl test strips are available that give results within about five minutes.  If you use illicit drugs, the test strips could save your life.

Warning Signs of Fentanyl Overdose

Knowing the warning signs of fentanyl overdose could save your life or the life of someone you care about.  Remember, however, that naloxone will reverse fentanyl overdose, but more than one dose may be needed.  Learn what to look for so you can call for help before it’s too late.

Fentanyl overdose warning signs may include:

  • Constricted, pinpoint pupils
  • Shallow breathing
  • Sleepiness or losing consciousness
  • Limp body
  • Clammy, cold skin
  • Bluish tint to skin, lips, or nails
  • Gurgling or choking sounds

The CDC recommends calling 911 right away if you see these signs.  The next step is to administer naloxone if possible.  Lay the person on their side to prevent choking and try to keep them awake.  Don’t be afraid to stay until help arrives.  Laws are in place in most states to protect the person who called for help in an overdose situation.

Treatment for Fentanyl Abuse and Addiction at Design for Change

As you can see from the information above, fentanyl is a killer.  There is no safe way to use the illicit drug.  However, there is help for individuals who are struggling with addiction to fentanyl or any other substance.  

Design for Change Recovery in Lancaster, CA provides high-quality, customized treatment plans that get to the core of addiction.  In our program, you’ll gain the skills and tools needed for lifelong abstinence.  Also, our skilled, compassionate staff dedicates themselves to making sure all of your needs are met.  

Our program encompasses a range of therapies and activities to help you regain physical, mental, and emotional well-being.  We will help you create a personalized treatment approach that aligns with your unique needs.  

Don’t continue to place yourself at risk for health complications or overdose from illicit drugs.  Reach out to us today by phone, email, or online to learn more about our programs.

Sources: –  Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Surged 279% Since 2016 While Heroin Deaths Fell: CDC – Fentanyl Awareness – Preventing Opioid Overdose

Fentanyl Abuse and Overdose Statistics Reveal an Alarming Trend