Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is often prescribed to patients as a painkiller after surgery or to manage chronic pain conditions. However, it can also be obtained illicitly and used recreationally. Unfortunately, the use of fentanyl has been linked to a significant increase in drug overdose deaths in recent years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids. This includes fentanyl, more than doubled from 2015 to 2016. In 2016, over 20,000 overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids. This shows a significant increase from the roughly 9,000 overdose deaths in 2015.
One of the reasons why fentanyl has become such a problem? It can be easily mixed with other drugs, such as heroin, without the user knowing.
This means that people who are using these drugs recreationally may not realize that they are taking a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl. In fact, many overdose deaths involving fentanyl are caused by people who thought they were taking another drug, such as heroin, but unknowingly ingested a dose of fentanyl as well.
Another reason why fentanyl has become such a problem is that it is cheap and easy to produce. This makes it attractive to drug dealers and traffickers. They can produce large quantities of the drug and sell it at a profit. Fentanyl is often shipped into the United States from other countries, making it difficult to track and regulate.
The use of fentanyl has also been linked to a rise in drug overdose deaths among young people. The CDC reports that the rate of drug overdose deaths among people ages 15 to 24 has increased significantly since 2015. This is likely due in part to the fact that many young people are using drugs recreationally. They may not be aware of the risks associated with using fentanyl.
There are several steps that can be taken to address the problem of drug overdoses caused by fentanyl. One of the most important is to educate people about the risks of using fentanyl and other drugs. This includes providing information about the signs of an overdose and how to get help if someone is experiencing an overdose.
Another important step is to increase access to overdose prevention medications, such as naloxone. Naloxone is a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and save lives. It is available in a variety of forms, including a nasal spray and an injection. Moreover, it can be administered by anyone, regardless of their medical training.
In addition to increasing access to overdose prevention medications, it is also important to increase access to substance abuse treatment and support services.
This can include providing funding for drug treatment programs. It also includes increasing the availability of mental health services, and expanding access to peer support programs.
It is also important to address the root causes of drug addiction and abuse. This may involve addressing social and economic factors that contribute to drug use. These factors include poverty, unemployment, and lack of access to education and healthcare.
Overall, the problem of drug overdoses caused by fentanyl is a complex and multifaceted issue. This issue requires a comprehensive approach to address. We must educate people about the risks of using fentanyl and other drugs. Also, health authorities need to overdose prevention medications and substance abuse treatment. Most importantly, authorities need to address the root causes of drug addiction and abuse. We can work to reduce the number of overdose deaths caused by fentanyl and other opioids. Wondering about what health coverage that you could be eligible for? Well, look no further than Healthedly. Give us a call at 855-522-2201 so our agents can give you a free quote for health insurance.