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Correlation Between Fentanyl and Overdose

a woman struggles with the unpleasant side effects of fentanyl abuse

Fentanyl is a laboratory-made opioid that far exceeds the strength of natural opioid substances. This extreme potency has some significant consequences. First, it increases your chances of becoming opioid-dependent. This fact explains why so many people need fentanyl addiction treatment. But there is another major risk. Even if you never develop an addiction, you can easily overdose on fentanyl. In fact, the link, or correlation, between fentanyl and overdose is fully established. This link is a driving force in today’s ongoing opioid crisis.

For more information about fentanyl and effective treatment options, contact Northpoint Colorado today at 888.231.1281 or online.

Fentanyl’s Unusual Potency

All opioids are strong substances capable of altering your brain and body function. When used repeatedly, they can also trigger diagnosable substance abuse and addiction. However, some opioids are more potent than others.

Generally speaking, the least potent substances come directly from a plant called the opium poppy. The list of these substances includes two widely used pain medications:

  • Codeine
  • Morphine

It also includes the street drug heroin, which uses morphine as its base ingredient.

The strongest opioids tend to be made in laboratories from chemicals that mimic natural opioids. Fentanyl is a prime example of these laboratory-made substances. Depending on who makes it, its potency outstrips morphine by anywhere from 50 to 100 times.

This extreme strength increases the level of risk for anyone who uses fentanyl. That’s true for both addiction and overdose. Another laboratory-made opioid, carfentanil, is even stronger. It surpasses the potency of fentanyl by a staggering 1000%.

How Strong Is the Correlation Between Fentanyl and Overdose?

You can potentially overdose on any natural or laboratory-made opioid. Why? Opioids are central nervous system depressants. In other words, they make your brain and spinal cord decrease their normal workload. Unfortunately, you can only handle limited amounts of this kind of decrease. If it goes too far, some of your key survival functions will start to fail. This substance-induced failure, or overdose, may not kill you. However, it may also prove fatal.

How strong is the connection or correlation between fentanyl and overdose? Most overdoses in America are opioid-related. Almost nine out of every ten fatal opioid overdoses involve a laboratory-made substance. By far, the most common substance used in these situations is fentanyl.

One potential factor in the link between fentanyl and overdose is the source of the opioid. Some people have access to legally produced fentanyl that has a known level of potency.  However, most people use an illegal form of the opioid. When you take illegally made fentanyl, you have no clear idea of its actual strength or purity. This makes it much harder to tell if you’re about to use too much of it.

Fentanyl Addiction and Overdose Symptoms: What to Look For

What are some of the most common fentanyl addiction and overdose symptoms? If you’re addicted, you will feel a compulsive need to find more of the opioid and use it. You’ll also lose much of your ability to care about the consequences of your fentanyl use. Common symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include:

  • Breathing that’s shallow, slowed down, or completely stopped
  • A slowed or absent heartbeat
  • Narrowed pupils
  • Body limpness
  • Skin that looks unusually blue or pale
  • Lips or fingernail beds that look blue or purple
  • Unconsciousness

You may also vomit or make gurgling or choking noises.

Get Help Today at Northpoint Colorado

The correlation between fentanyl and overdose is clear. That’s especially true for fatal overdoses. Learning more about this powerful opioid and its potentially lethal effects is critical to spreading awareness about the dangers of fentanyl. The addiction specialists at Northpoint Colorado can also help you create a plan for overcoming your reliance on fentanyl. Just call us today at 888.231.1281 or contact us online.