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Monday, October 30, 2017

The Fentanyl Epidemic Leads to Deadly Overdoses Throughout the U.S.


National Public Health Emergency

On October 26, 2017 President Trump declared, “The opioid crisis a national public health emergency under federal law”. The use of illicit street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl continue to be abused rampantly.



According to the Center for Disease Control, “Since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (opioid pain relievers and heroin)”. Similarly in June of 2017 The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that, “Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids”. While such statistics include opioid use in its entirety, the culprit of the epidemic is stated to be illegally manufactured Fentanyl,  Fentanyl analogues, and street drugs laced with Fentanyl.



What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl, an opioid pain medication, is a Pharmaceutical drug which aided in treating pain for severe cancer patients, has become illegally manufactured, and sold as a street drug. It comes in a variety of forms which can be swallowed, injected, snorted, or absorbed through the mucus membrane. In addition to that, the drug can be abused by itself, and also combined with other illicit drugs.

Fentanyl works on the opioid receptors in the brain to produce  feelings of euphoria, and sedation. The effects quickly lead abusers to develop a high tolerance, and addiction to the drug. This leads to larger amounts being consumed in a shorter period of time which becomes dangerous. Using Fentanyl can results in coma, or death.

Fentanyl Street Names

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Street names for fentanyl or for fentanyl-laced heroin include Apache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, TNT, and Tango and Cash”. The drug can even be hidden in other illicit drugs, such as heroin, when the abuser is unaware that they are even consuming it. The danger in this is that opioid users are at high risk for overdose, and addiction.

Fentanyl is 50-100 times stronger than morphine, and is believed to be the leading source of increased overdoses in the U.S. According to the New York Times, “ Drug overdoses are expected to remain the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, as synthetic opioids — primarily Fentanyl and its analogues — continue to push the death count higher”.

Who is Affected?

Fentanyl and Opioid Abuse is on the rise throughout the United States, and continues to increase because of illegal manufacturing. The prevalence of increased abuse is seen in such states as California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. In fact in a report presented on May 5, 2017 by the Washington State Department of Health, “ There has been an 86% increase in fentanyl-related overdose deaths from 2015”. The numbers in Washington State are significant and continue to rise. However, the epidemic is not localized only to these regions, and is a national problem that must be addressed. The New York Times states that at the national level, “Drug deaths involving fentanyl more than doubled from 2015 to 2016, accompanied by an upturn in deaths involving cocaine and methamphetamine. Together they add up to an epidemic of drug overdoses that is killing people at a faster rate than the H.I.V. epidemic at its peak”. In addition to that it has been noted that the Fentanyl epidemic is currently killing more people in the United States than car crashes. 

Get Help Today

It is imperative if you or a loved one are using Fentanyl or other opioids to seek help immediately. There are a variety of treatment options available. At Coast to Coast Recovery, you can find a range of addiction treatment services from holistic healing and complementary therapies to 12-step programs and Christian-based teaching. Let us help you end a life of addiction and start your journey to lasting sobriety. To learn more, call 800-210-8229


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