“Fentanyl: The Deadliest Opioid Variant” and “Fake Drugs Fentanyl Fatal;” These are just some of the billboards popping up around Central Florida.
Did you know that Fentanyl has become the most common drug causing overdose within the Central Florida community? The healthcare community has been striving to bring awareness to the harms of opioid abuse and now we have a new battle with Fentanyl.
What is Fentanyl
Being more potent, up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, Fentanyl is cheaper and more accessible, making this drug a very common component in street drugs in today’s community.
Fentanyl has been found in drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines and is being made into pills that resemble other prescription opioids. It can even be sold as powders and nasal sprays.
It takes as little as 2 milligrams of Fentanyl, about 3 sugar-sized granules, for just ONE person to overdose, with most counterfeit pills ranging from .02 to 5.1 milligrams (more than twice the lethal dose) of fentanyl per tablet.
Fentanyl is tasteless, has no odor, and once mixed into other drugs it is virtually impossible to tell if Fentanyl is present. Fentanyl test strips can be purchased for a low cost to test if drugs have been laced with the substance, with results within five minutes.
Fentanyl Overdose Deaths
Over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Common signs of overdose are constricted pupils, loss of consciousness, slowness, weakness, no breathing, choking sounds, limp body, cold and/or clammy skin and discolored skin, especially in the lips and nails.
If you witness someone experiencing an overdose call 911 immediately and administer Narcan if available, try to keep the person awake and breathing, lay the person on their side to prevent choking and stay with the person until emergency services arrive.
*For more information on Narcan, where you can get it and how to administer this live-saving medication visit: Overdose Prevention (ocfl.net)
Get Help for Substance Use
Substance use has touched many lives throughout Florida, but the good news is that there is help!
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, University Behavioral Center is here to help.
We offer a medical detox program, as well as a medication assisted treatment option, for ages 18 and up.
Within this program patients receive group, individual and family therapy as well as music, art and yoga therapy. We even have a therapy dog, Ginger, to help reduce stress and anxiety among patients receiving treatment.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, University Behavioral Center is ready to listen and help get you treatment 24/7 with no-cost and a confidential assessment. We are just a phone call away, 407-281-7000.