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What Does Fentanyl Overdose Look Like?

Thousands of people die from fentanyl overdoses every year. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.” Fentanyl is used to help individuals who struggle with severe pain or those who struggle with chronic pain and are resistant to other opioids.

While fentanyl is a prescription drug, it is also used and made illegally. According to the NIDA, “Some drug dealers are mixing fentanyl with other drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA.” Fentanyl is mixed with other drugs because it takes little of the drug to produce a high, making it cheaper.

However, due to how strong fentanyl is, it can easily lead to overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there was a 56% increase in fentanyl overdoses from 2019 to 2020. In 2020, more than 56,000 people died from a fentanyl overdose.

What Is an Overdose?

An overdose happens when a substance creates severe and life-threatening effects on a person. In most cases of overdose, a person’s breathing will slow or stop. When this occurs, the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain can decrease; this is known as hypoxia. Hypoxia can lead to coma, permanent brain damage, and death.

What Does a Fentanyl Overdose Look Like?

According to the CDC, “Over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.” Due to this, it is important to look out for the signs of a fentanyl overdose. These include:

  • Small, constricted pupils
  • Falling asleep or losing consciousness
  • Slow, weak, or stopped breathing
  • Choking or gurgling noises
  • Limp body
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Discolored skin (especially on the lips or nails)

What to Do During a Fentanyl Overdose

If you suspect someone is experiencing a fentanyl overdose, it is crucial to call 911 right away. This way, the person can receive medical attention. If you have Naloxone on hand, it should be administered. According to the NIDA, “Naloxone is a medicine that can treat a fentanyl overdose when given right away.”

Naloxone rapidly binds to opioid receptors in the brain, blocking the effects of fentanyl. However, because fentanyl is stronger than typical opioids, a few doses may be required to reverse a fentanyl overdose. If you do not have Naloxone on hand, medical personnel will administer it.

Fentanyl is an opioid 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Because of this, overdose rates are rapidly increasing across the nation. Being able to recognize the signs of fentanyl overdose and knowing what to do when an overdose occurs can save someone’s life. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to fentanyl or other substances, The Guest House is here to help. Our facility, located in Silver Springs, Florida, can help you find the healing you deserve. Call us today at (855) 483-7800 to learn more about our program.