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How Dangerous Is Fentanyl?

a person sits with their knees to their chest in a dark room as they wonder how dangerous is fentanyl

The opioid epidemic in America has taken a new, more dangerous turn. While healthcare providers and lawmakers work to limit the number of prescription opioids being dispensed, illicit fentanyl has become increasingly available to people with addiction. This potent opioid carries tremendous risks, given its potency and addiction potential. But just how dangerous is fentanyl?

BlueCrest Health Group offers a fentanyl addiction treatment program in New Jersey. At our treatment centers BlueCrest Recovery Center and QuickSilver Counseling Center, our staff is well-versed in evidence-based rehab and works to provide our patients with a safe, holistic approach to addiction recovery. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, find help by calling 888.340.2214 today and avoid the dangers of fentanyl.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid typically used in medical settings to treat severe pain associated with surgery or complex pain conditions. It’s made in a lab and is FDA-approved for these specific uses. However, it’s also become notoriously known for its misuse and illicit distribution, leading to serious health risks, including fatal overdoses.

While there are some legitimate medical applications for fentanyl, the most prominent danger is illicit fentanyl. Illicit fentanyl is unregulated and often far more potent, yet it remains a cheap additive that drug suppliers can cut into their supplies.

The Dangers of Fentanyl

To understand just how dangerous fentanyl is, it’s important to consider the potency, availability, and addiction risks associated with this synthetic opioid.

Extreme Potency

One of the primary dangers of fentanyl is its potency. It’s estimated to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, making it extremely powerful even in small doses. This high potency contributes to its high risk of overdose, especially when individuals unknowingly consume it.

Signs of fentanyl overdose include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Slowed heartbeat and low blood pressure

If you think someone is experiencing a fentanyl overdose, call 911 immediately. If you know how to administer Narcan, a lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drug, it is appropriate to administer it. Emergency workers may need to give additional doses depending on the potency of the fentanyl that was used.

Cutting Other Drugs with Fentanyl

Another danger associated with fentanyl is that it’s often used as a cheap filler and added to counterfeit versions of well-known drugs. This means that people may be consuming fentanyl without even knowing it, increasing the risk of accidental overdoses.

Even non-opioid drugs may be cut with fentanyl. Xanax, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other illicit substances may contain tiny amounts of fentanyl that can be dangerous to unsuspecting users.

The Addiction Potential of Fentanyl

Like other opioids, fentanyl has a high potential for addiction. Its powerful effects can lead to physical dependence and addiction in a short amount of time. Moreover, due to its potency, withdrawal from fentanyl can be particularly severe, making it difficult for people to stop using the drug once they’ve started.

If someone attempts to stop using fentanyl and relapses, their drug tolerance will be much lower than before. When they attempt to use drugs again, they may encounter fentanyl that is too potent and accidentally overdose.

Signs of Fentanyl Addiction

Signs of fentanyl addiction can include:

  • Uncontrollable cravings and compulsive drug-seeking behaviors
  • Difficulty functioning without fentanyl
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug
  • Negative consequences that don’t stop someone from using the drug
  • Tolerance of the drug’s effects
  • Inability to stop using fentanyl

If you have been using fentanyl or know someone who has, it’s important to seek help before the addiction worsens.

When to Find Professional Help

If you or someone you know is showing signs of fentanyl addiction, it’s important to seek professional help immediately. Addiction to fentanyl is a serious condition that requires professional treatment. Many effective treatments are available, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), behavioral therapies, and supportive services. Early intervention can improve outcomes and potentially save lives.

Start Fentanyl Addiction Treatment at a BlueCrest Health Group Center in New Jersey

Understanding just how dangerous fentanyl is can help you realize the importance of addiction treatment. At BlueCrest Health Group, we offer comprehensive fentanyl addiction treatment options at our New Jersey centers. Our team of experts specializes in evidence-based care that helps individuals find long-term recovery from opioid use disorder.

If you are unsure if you or a loved one needs addiction treatment, we also offer level-of-care assessments at Assess With Guidance. Find the help you need today—call 888.340.2214 or complete our online form now.