Fentanyl and the Rise of Teen Overdoses
Though drug and alcohol use are in decline among American high schoolers, teen overdose deaths have still doubled in recent years due to fentanyl. This human-made opioid is dangerously addictive and can be fatal, especially for young people who experiment with drugs.
What Is Fentanyl?
Inexpensive, easily manufactured and powerfully addictive, fentanyl has emerged as the narcotic of choice for drug traffickers. Fentanyl is a potent opioid that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine. People who take it may do so unwittingly because fentanyl can resemble so many other drugs, including legal prescription medications. Dealers lace their supplies with fentanyl because it is inexpensive, easy to come by and can keep people coming back for more.
Most teenagers are aware of the overdose epidemic and have no desire to abuse opioids. However, many drugs sold on the black market contain at least trace amounts of fentanyl. Often, teenagers do not know what they are getting because fentanyl has crept into so many things. A teen may buy what they think is Xanax or Adderall, assuming it is safe, only to experience a fentanyl overdose.
What Happens During a Fentanyl Overdose?
Since fentanyl is a central nervous system suppressant, respiratory failure is the most common cause of a fentanyl overdose. Recognizing the signs of an opioid overdose can save a life.
- Slowed or stopped breathing
- Drowsiness or unresponsiveness
- Constricted pupils
- Loss of consciousness
- Slow, irregular heartbeat
If you know how to respond to an overdose, you can reverse its effects. For example, you can administer an opioid antagonist called naloxone, available at many pharmacies without a prescription. Other critical steps include calling 911, keeping the victim awake and upright and moving them into the recovery pose.
Your Partners in Overcoming Substance Misuse
At R&A Therapeutic Partners, Ray Estefania and Ana Moreno use their four decades of combined experience to understand the intricacies of substance use disorders and mental health issues. Serving families throughout the South Florida area, as well as nationally and internationally, we’re here to help.
Our mission is clear – to offer honest, ethical, compassionate concierge-level support to families grappling with these challenges. In an era where the threat of fentanyl looms large, we steadfastly help families navigate these troubled waters. Let us be your partners on this journey. Contact us today to learn about our outpatient programming, specialized services and therapeutic consulting.
At R&A Therapeutic Partners Raymond Estefania and Ana Moreno specialize in substance use and mental health disorder evaluations, treatment, intervention and therapeutic/educational consulting for clients throughout the greater South Florida area, as well as nationally and internationally. For more resources and information please visit Therapeutic-Partners.com or on Facebook.