Over the last few years, we have consistently heard about the Fentanyl and Opioid crisis in America. You might be wondering, how can this or does this affect me? It’s important to be aware of the gateway between prescription opioids and drugs like fentanyl which are the most common cause of overdose in America right now.
Illegally made fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid is often mixed in with other illicit drugs and counterfeit pills, leading to an increased chance of overdose. A fatal dose of fentanyl can be as small as 3 grains of salt. Educating ourselves on the dangers of fentanyl and what it is that makes it so dangerous can be lifesaving information and aid in overdose prevention.
One of the biggest things we can do to save lives and prevent potential harm is spread the word about harm reduction. This emphasizes the importance of educating others about overdose prevention, as well as how and where to access the proper resources in the event that they are needed.
Good Samaritan Law + How to Help in the Event of an Overdose
Every minute counts when it comes to overdose, do not be afraid to call for help if you are with someone who may be experiencing an overdose. Washington State has the 911 Good Samaritan/Overdose Law in place that protects both you and the overdose victim from any drug possession charges. If you find yourself in a situation where you need help, please do not hesitate to call 911, and follow these steps below:
- Check for signs of overdose: The person won’t wake up, has slowed breath or is not breathing, has blue/gray lips or fingernails, or has pale, ashy, cool skin.
- Call 911: Tell the dispatcher your location and that you are with someone who is not breathing. If you cannot stay until 911 arrives, place the person on their side in a place where first responders can find them.
- Naloxone is available in Washington State and should be used in tandem with rescue breaths until the person regains consciousness or medical help arrives. Naloxone can be found at any Washington pharmacy and it is recommended that any person who uses drugs, family or friends of someone who is using drugs, or anyone who interacts with someone using drugs carries naloxone with them. It can also be administered by first responders if 911 is called.
If the person who experienced an overdose wakes up, please encourage them to get follow-up medical care. Olalla Recovery Centers has many options if you or someone in your life might benefit from substance use treatment. Please reach out for more information on our programs and what might be the best fit for the situation.
Teenagers + Opioids
Opioids like fentanyl are highly addictive and trace amounts are being found in many other substances, so it has never been more important to be aware and careful especially for the teenagers and kids in our lives. They might be thinking to themselves, “doctors are prescribing opioids all the time for pain so they must be safe?” Prescription opioids when used long term or incorrectly can cause the brain to be reliant on this highly addictive drug causing negative effects all over your body. It is important that we educate the youth in our life on what this looks like and how we can prevent it.
Opioids affect the spinal cord and brain to reduce intense feelings of pain, as well as slowing down actions such as breathing and heart rate. These potentially fatal effects along with the risk of overdose which we are seeing in many cases of opioid addiction create a very high risk of fatality when opioids like fentanyl are involved. Reach out to Olalla Recovery Centers today if you or anyone in your life may need help in starting the process through recovery.
Get Help Now
Remember, Olalla Recovery Centers is here for your addiction recovery journey. If you or a loved one is ready to seek assistance for an addiction, the first step is to seek a professional who can help. Call or contact us anytime.
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Whether you are just starting your addiction recovery journey or have been sober for decades, we are here for you. Our mission at Olalla Recovery Centers is to change the lives of people affected by alcoholism and other addictions.
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