In California, Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Are Up 614% in Just 4 Years

KCAL News interview with young woman and older male

While the national opioid crisis makes headlines daily, another alarming problem has grabbed the state of California by storm: fentanyl. Dana Point Rehab Campus was featured on CBS-LA to discuss the nation’s alarming new drug problem, which has caused 614% more fatal overdoses in the past 4 years, per data from the California Department of Health.

Dana Point Rehab Campus CEO Michael Castanon discussed that many who become addicted to fentanyl initially had a legitimate need for an opioid prescription for pain. However, when they can no longer get a refill on their pills from a doctor, they turn to the streets to get their fix. The problem is multi-faceted because fentanyl is not like other opioids. It is an extremely potent synthetic drug that is 50 to 100 times as strong as morphine or heroin.

Fentanyl first hit the market in the 1960s, and has since been reserved as a last-resort painkiller, mainly for patients in a hospital setting. By and large, the abuse of fentanyl is among those who buy it from drug dealers. Some may not even know that they are buying fentanyl, because the drug they think they are buying is cut with this easy-to-produce, cheap opioid. On a national level, The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that 59% of opioid-related deaths in 2017 were caused by fentanyl, compared to only 14% in previous years. But why?

Why Is Fentanyl Use on the Rise?

One major issue with buying illicit opioids sold by drug dealers is that they are often cut with fentanyl without a person being aware. The reason is because fentanyl is easier and cheaper to produce than heroin, which makes it particularly attractive for drug dealers who want to cut pills that they tell their customers are something else, like oxycodone.

An addiction to fentanyl is extremely dangerous and can have deadly consequences. Addiction sets in quickly, and because fentanyl is relatively easy to obtain and it is cheaper than many other drugs of its potency, it creates the perfect storm for active addicts looking for a strong high. The problem is, there is no way of knowing how much fentanyl is in any given pill without a lab test, and the concentration may be so high that one pill contains enough fentanyl to be lethal.

Contact Dana Point Rehab Campus to Start a Journey to Sobriety

It is possible to kick fentanyl and lead a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life. We have had many patients, including David Graham, who attended Dana Point Rehab Campus in order to get clean from fentanyl. He was interviewed by CBS-LA and mentioned that he doesn’t fit the mold for the typical drug addict, as he has a doctorate degree in theology, and had a fentanyl prescription before he turned to Dana Point Rehab Campus for help getting clean. Dana Point Rehab Campus reminds those who are suffering from fentanyl that it is not their fault, and even if they don’t feel like they are the typical drug addict, that substance abuse can affect anyone of any education level or background.

“There is hope,” Mr. Graham said. “There is definitely hope.”

Ready to start getting serious about kicking fentanyl? Contact us at Dana Point Rehab Campus by dialing 949.569.7517 today.

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