All of us here at Perspectives are acutely aware of the unimaginable toll that drugs, especially opioids, have had on our community and society. We see the product of these effects walk through our doors each day. Today is a grim reminder that we are still far from finding the solution to the drug problem in the United States. Every time we take a step forward, we take one back, and there is no more powerful reminder than the rise of fentanyl.

Did you know that fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin, and the equivalent of two grains of sand can kill you?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is cheap to produce and widely used. While initially developed as a potent therapeutic for a very narrow set of medical criteria, it is now a highly addictive filler added to illegal drugs. Today, fentanyl is added to many counterfeit prescription medications and illicit drugs to get users hooked faster. Unfortunately, because many people don’t know much about the drug, and there is no easy way to understand the purity of the medicine being taken, people are dying from fentanyl overdoses at an alarming rate.

Is There an Answer to the Fentanyl Crisis in the United States?

As with any drug, new or old, it is most important to educate those around us about the dangers of fentanyl and how there is no telling if a fatal overdose is beyond that next hit. While it is challenging to get through to someone already using substances, our children must understand that drugs are not the answer and most definitely do not give them the happiness or fulfillment they may be looking for.

It is also important to realize that substance abuse requires the help of an experienced team of clinicians such as those at Perspectives. Addiction can rarely be treated and overcome alone. The client, their families, and a skilled treatment center need to work together to get them off the drug and bring them back to their everyday lives.

Finally, it can be helpful to carry the opioid antagonist Naloxone with you, especially if you or a loved one know or come across someone abusing opioids. When in doubt, administering a dose of Naloxone can quickly reverse the opioid overdose. But even if the person has taken a different drug, there are no adverse effects, according to the CDC.

If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, don’t wait until rock bottom. Seeking help early can be a life-saving decision, especially when fentanyl is so widely distributed with so little regard for life.

If you need help, the first step is an experienced team of clinicians such as those of perspectives. Our outpatient treatment program can help you or your loved one start a journey toward sobriety and long-term abstinence and recovery. Call us or contact us.