We recently published an article discussing the overdose epidemic and how it claims three lives per day in San Diego. While a variety of factors contribute to this ongoing tragedy, the availability of the drug fentanyl is the main culprit.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is cheap, often disguised as other drugs, and 50 times more potent than heroin. The drug was originally created to provide relief to patients in extreme pain, like after invasive surgery. Since it became widely counterfeited in Chinese labs and available on the dark web, the drug has flooded the U.S. streets, leaving behind thousands of accidental overdoses.
The Number One Killer of People Aged 18-45
This problem is not unique to San Diego. The Centers for Disease Control recently announced that fentanyl is the number one killer of people aged 18 to 45. According to data from Families Against Fentanyl, one person dies from a fentanyl overdose every 8.5 minutes.
Symptoms of Fentanyl Use
If someone you care about seems like they’re trying to hide their activities from you, has been stealing money, or if they have lost interest in hobbies or activities they used to enjoy, these are clues that they might be using fentanyl or other drugs.
Here are some physical symptoms of fentanyl use:
- Pinpoint pupils
- Extreme sleepiness
- Loss of consciousness
- Slow breathing and/or slow heart rate
If a loved one turns blue, is unconscious, or has shallow breathing, don’t hesitate to summon emergency help — call 911.
What to Do
If someone you care about exhibits any of the above signs, don’t delay – get help immediately. Call a professional drug counselor who will be trained to help you begin the process of recovery. “This isn’t like the old days where you could stop enabling a problem drinker and wait for them to ‘hit bottom’ to find the willingness to change. When it comes to fentanyl, every use can be fatal,” says Mark Gladden, who owns and operates Present Moments Recovery and By The Sea Sober Living home.
Not sure who to call? Some of the best help is available right here in San Diego. Present Moments Recovery can help. Their intake counselors can answer questions about how to get help for you or your loved one. Call them at (619) 363-4767.