Despite the magnitude of highly publicized fentanyl related fatalities, the demand for this drug for recreational use has been steadily increasing. So much so that seizures for the illegal manufacture and possession of this drug went from 618 in 2012 to 4,585 in 2014. Toxicology reports from several fentanyl overdose victims also imply that the fentanyl being sold on the street may be even more potent than the drug used in clinical environments. The fentanyl manufactured for illegal distribution, according to law enforcement, is a powder that is produced to be similar in appearance to heroin. In this way, many heroin users are unsuspectingly introduced to this powerful and potentially lethal drug.
Although most fentanyl overdose deaths are reportedly caused by the illegally manufactured version of this drug, diverted use of doctor prescribed fentanyl often begin the process of abuse that is driving people into early graves or if they are lucky, into Fentanyl drug rehab programs. Government data shows, doctors in America write at least 6.64 million prescriptions for fentanyl for their patients annually. The increase in fentanyl related drug overdose events, emergency room visits and admissions to drug rehab correlate to the increase in the number of prescriptions written for pain management and seizures of illegally manufactured fentanyl.
Respiratory depression is the primary cause of drug overdose deaths. The heightened risk with the use of Fentanyl is unregulated dosing of this extremely potent drug that can make death occur faster. As such it is of vital importance to get immediate medical attention at the first sign of a drug overdose. Surviving a drug overdose dose however is not a substitute for treatment to prevent continued drug use or the occurrence of another overdose event.