April 21, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Fighting California’s Fentanyl Crisis

The United States as a whole has been dealing with a fentanyl crisis, and California is no exception. The Golden State has been dealing with an increase in overdoses caused by this drug.  Let’s take a closer look at what you should know about the crisis at large and what you can do to protect your loved ones. 

Seek the Help of a Drug Rehab Center

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s important to get help. A holistic drug rehab can be a good place to begin the road to recovery.

California, and the rest of the U.S., for that matter, has been dealing with an ongoing opioid crisis. Fentanyl only contributes to that problem.

Fentanyl is laced into other illegal substances like cocaine, heroin, meth, opioids, and counterfeit prescription medications. This means that anyone who uses drugs is at risk of accidental fentanyl consumption. Since fentanyl doesn’t have an odor, flavor or distinct color, it’s also difficult to detect if it’s been added to another illegal substance. 

Fentanyl is estimated to be up to 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. Due to its high level of potency and inability to be detected in other substances, overdoses are common.

Crunching the Numbers

Nationwide and statewide, the number of overdoses from fentanyl has increased at an alarming rate. Los Angeles County saw a 1,280% increase in fentanyl overdose-related deaths between 2016 and 2021.

These numbers only continue to rise each year. One of the reasons is because a lack of fentanyl awareness, but another reason is because of the high number of people battling drug addiction in California.

It has been estimated that approximately 9% of Californians — or about 3.5 million people — experience substance abuse, according to the California Health Care Foundation. While some of these individuals suffer from alcoholism, there are a large number of people in the state who are at risk of experiencing a fentanyl overdose. 

Recognizing the Signs

If you or your loved ones battle with drug addiction, it’s important to be aware of the signs of a potential fentanyl overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these signs include:

– Small, constricted pupils 

– Gurling or choking sounds
– Cold, clammy or discolored skin (especially lips and nails)

– Loss of consciousness or falling asleep
– Limp body
– Slow or weak breathing, or not breathing at all

If you recognize the signs of a fentanyl overdose in someone who you’re spending time with, it’s important to call 911. Wait with the person until emergency responders arrive, and try your hardest to keep them awake and breathing. Reposition the person so that they are lying on their side to prevent them from choking.

If you are doing drugs, too, you might worry about your own legal situation. Keep in mind that in California, you are protected from being faced with drug charges if you call to help an overdose victim. Calling 911 and staying with the overdose victim can help save their life. 

If you or a loved one who lives at home struggles with substance abuse, it may be a good idea to keep naloxone on hand. This medication, which is sold over the counter, is known as a “fentanyl antidote” because it helps reverse an opioid or fentanyl-related overdose.

Fentanyl is a scary illegal substance that all drug addicts should be aware of. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, seeking treatment for drug abuse is the only way to lower or completely eliminate your risk of experiencing a fentanyl overdose. 

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