Fentanyl Awareness: What You Need to Know

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Fentanyl has quickly climbed the ranks in recent years as one of the deadliest threats facing the American public. Of opioid-related overdoses, Fentanyl is responsible for 71,269 deaths in 2022, a 6% increase over the 67,325 deaths that occurred the previous year.

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram has said “Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered. Fentanyl is everywhere. From large metropolitan areas to rural America, no community is safe from this poison. We must take every opportunity to spread the word to prevent fentanyl-related overdose death and poisonings from claiming scores of American lives every day.”

Why Fentanyl is so Addictive

Fentanyl is a very potent and powerful synthetically made opioid. It is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is usually prescribed to patients who have already built up a tolerance to other forms of opioid painkillers because it is formulated to be so much stronger.

In fact, a dose the size of a grain of sand is capable of causing a life-threatening fentanyl overdose. And it’s for that reason, its potency, that fentanyl is also highly addictive.

It is now being made illicitly, which means it is being reproduced illegally for the street drug market. Illicit fentanyl is not only being produced to look like other prescription opioids but is also being made into a white powder that is mixed in with illegal drugs like meth, cocaine, and heroin.

The mixing of fentanyl with these other already dangerous drugs is often a tactic used by dealers to cheaply increase their supply and boost their profits. However, this leads users to ingest dangerously high doses of fentanyl without even knowing it. In turn, this leads to higher and higher cases of fentanyl addiction and overdose.

Illicit fentanyl is manufactured in a few different forms, such as:

  • Common pill form
  • Powder
  • Eye drops
  • As a liquid on blotter paper
  • Nasal spray

Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms


Fentanyl and other potent opioids are the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in America. More than 150 users die every day from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

Therefore, it’s important to become familiar with the following signs and symptoms of fentanyl overdose. After all, it could save someone’s life. Here are the signs to watch for:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Pale face
  • Blue tint to the skin, usually originating at the lips and fingernails, indicating a restriction of oxygen
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Difficulty walking, talking, or thinking
  • Slowed, erratic, or no heartbeat
  • Respiratory issues such as slowed or irregular breaths, or the individual may stop breathing completely
  • Choking, gurgling, or snoring noises
  • Extreme fatigue, with frequent episodes of slipping in and out of consciousness
  • Loss of consciousness to the point where the person is completely unresponsive
  • Coma

The biggest danger during a fentanyl overdose is decreased respiratory function. This causes a lack of oxygen that can lead to brain and/or lung damage. If the person doesn’t receive immediate medical attention, it can often lead to death.

What You Can Do About It

If you encounter someone you believe to be having a fentanyl overdose, you must contact emergency services right away by calling 911. Fentanyl addiction can be truly life-threatening.

If you or someone you love is struggling with synthetic opioid or fentanyl addiction, Narconon is here to help. The rehabilitation program at Narconon will help those struggling with addiction safely pass through the undesirable symptoms of withdrawal. Many go on to lead happy and healthy lives, free from the life-threatening effects of drug abuse. Start your path to freedom by contacting us today.


Suncoast Staff