Fentanyl is an extremely potent and addictive opioid that leads to health complications, overdose, and death. Overdose is common with fentanyl abuse because users build a high level of tolerance in a very short time. Medical professionals use fentanyl for patients as a form of pain management, but many people who are addicted to painkillers also use this drug. Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine, and easily leads to dependence and addiction faster than other drugs. The smallest amount of fentanyl can be deadly. Many people overdose on fentanyl because they use more of it to experience the same level of euphoria as the first time. The user takes higher doses of fentanyl, but the body cannot process the high amount fast enough, which causes an overdose. Sometimes people mix fentanyl with other drugs or alcohol. Fentanyl puts a person at risk of overdose or death, especially with other drugs or alcohol. Some signs and symptoms of fentanyl overdose include confusion, disorientation, slow breathing and heartbeat, severe drowsiness, inability to talk, and feeling faint or dizzy. Opioid-dependent individuals use fentanyl as a replacement for heroin. Fentanyl-related death happens so quickly that people are often found with a syringe still in the site of injection. In an article about fentanyl for WBIR 10 News (2018), Brett Kelman stated, “Drug dealers often smuggle fentanyl across the border from Mexico or through the mail from China, then mix it into weak heroin to maximize profits.” Fentanyl skin patches are prescribed at a low dose and used for chronic pain that cannot be controlled with other painkillers. If a person overdoses on fentanyl, he or she should be treated immediately with naloxone, which is a drug that reverses the effects of opioid overdose. Multiple doses of naloxone may be needed to revive a person due to the potency of fentanyl. People who become dependent on or addicted to fentanyl need to seek treatment to prevent overdose or death. If you or a loved one is battling an addiction, you are not alone. Recovery from addiction is possible with the right treatment. Do not wait another day to get help. Take the opportunity to enjoy living substance-free.
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