Greeneville, TN - ReVIDA® Recovery shares their knowledge to educate the communities of Appalachia on the topics surrounding substance use disorder. Their latest blog dives into what fentanyl is cut with and how this can affect the person using it.
“The opioid crisis is raging on in Appalachia, with overdose mortality rates over 61% higher here than in the rest of the nation. The fuel for this fire? A powerful synthetic opioid called fentanyl that’s 50-100 times more potent than other drugs in its class. If you or someone you love is participating in illegal opioid use, it’s more dangerous now than it’s ever been. This is because lately, dealers have been adding other substances to fentanyl (or adding fentanyl to other substances) to save money, stretch out their inventory, or increase the ‘high’ for their customers,” the article reads.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s FDA-approved for the treatment of severe pain. Doctors will prescribe this medication for short periods to manage post-surgical pain, but it isn’t a medication that’s prescribed for the long term. When taken under a prescription, fentanyl can help to ease severe pain and even speed the healing process along. It comes in forms like lozenges, nasal sprays, transdermal patches, and sublingual tablets.
Illicit fentanyl typically comes in powder or pill forms. Both can be dissolved in water and injected. Because fentanyl is such a strong opioid, it is almost always cut with something before it’s illegally distributed. Dealers will often use “harmless” cutting agents like sugar, starch, or baby powder to increase its volume. Other times, dealers will cut fentanyl with other drugs or medications, like heroin, benzodiazepines, and cocaine.
“Dealers can mix a small amount of fentanyl into a larger amount of heroin, which saves them money and stretches out their inventory. Last year, 70,000 overdose deaths were attributed to fentanyl. A large reason for this is that, when people are taking it illicitly, they don’t know what’s in it. If fentanyl is cut with heroin, the risk of overdose increases, along with a myriad of other health complications. On its own, fentanyl is much stronger than other opioids. When mixed with other opioids, the strength increases, and it’s easy to misunderstand how potent each dose is,” the article continues.
Signs of a fentanyl overdose include gurgling noises, difficulty breathing, blue lips, nose, or under eyes, a rigid or limp body, unpredictable somnolence, pale skin, coma, vomiting, and sweating. If an overdose is ever suspected, seek medical attention immediately.
There is no way to know if fentanyl is present in other substances. The only surefire way to know is by using fentanyl test strips. These strips are widely available and legal, and in most cases, they can be found for free. In Tennessee, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services offers fentanyl test strips free of charge for those who need them.
ReVIDA® Recovery is working on the front lines to help those with opioid use disorders such as fentanyl addiction. They are proud to offer medication-assisted treatment as a part of their outpatient program. With the flexibility in their treatment offerings, ReVIDA® is able to help their patients maintain their work and home lives while gaining the skills they need to reclaim their lives from fentanyl.
For those wanting to know more about ReVIDA® Recovery, call them today at 423-631-0432 or visit their website.
For more information about ReVIDA Recovery® Greenville, contact the company here:
ReVIDA Recovery® Greenville
712 Professional Plaza Drive
Greeneville, TN 37745