How Fentanyl Impacted the Opioid Crisis

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How Fentanyl Impacted the Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis is a widespread epidemic that has impacted millions of lives. Since 1999, the CDC reports that over 932,000 individuals have lost their lives due to drug overdose. In 2020 alone, nearly 70% of drug overdose deaths involved an opioid drug. 

Understanding the dangers and risks of opioids, such as fentanyl, is more important than ever. This way, people can make informed decisions and limit their use when possible. Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous opioids when it’s not used appropriately. This drug alone is responsible for a fair share of the ongoing opioid crisis.

The Opioid Crisis

Widespread opioid use is a recent development within the pharmacology field. Toward the end of the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies began encouraging doctors to prescribe opioids more often. The increased use of opioid prescriptions opened the door for more individuals to abuse and misuse these drugs. 

What was once seen as a safe, effective treatment option for pain management now contributed to the development of problematic addictions and unfortunate deaths. However, the overprescribing of these drugs was not the only thing that instigated the opioid crisis. Another component was the increased, illegal production of synthetic fentanyl.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic drug. The DEA reports that it’s 50-100 times more potent than morphine. For this reason, individuals should use it with extreme caution and only when recommended by a doctor. Unfortunately, many people misuse and abuse fentanyl, especially when they obtain the drug from street dealers.

As fentanyl is cheap and easy to create, it is often mixed in various amounts with other street drugs. Unsuspected buyers may believe they are buying one substance, but are actually purchasing a substance that is “cut” or laced with fentanyl. This creates a large health concern, as individuals can become addicted immediately to the substance. Additionally, a very small amount of fentanyl can be fatal. Unfortunately, many individuals will consume their unknowingly laced street drug and overdose due to fentanyl contamination. 

Fentanyl is extremely addictive. People often don’t realize how easy it is to become dependent on this substance and regret taking it in the first place. If you’re struggling with fentanyl use, Avalon Malibu can help. We offer a variety of treatment options to help you start the recovery journey. We’ve seen the success that our clients can have and are proud to be able to provide effective recovery support.

The opioid crisis is a complex topic. One of the key contributors to the crisis was fentanyl, which is a dangerous and highly addictive synthetic opioid. If you or someone you know has been negatively impacted by fentanyl, we can help. We provide a variety of treatment options to help those who are struggling with substance use achieve and maintain sobriety. If your life has been impacted by an addiction to fentanyl and you need help, give us a call at (844) 857-5992.

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