The United States is fighting its worst-ever drug epidemic in history right now, an epidemic that is claiming hundreds of precious lives every day! According to the United States Department of Public Health, over one hundred thousand Americans died as a result of drug overdose in 2022. What’s surprising is that the majority of these drug overdose deaths (over 66 percent) involved the lethal synthetic opioid fentanyl!
According to a federal report, fentanyl claims over 200 American lives each day, and despite tireless government efforts, the situation is only worsening. So, we can say that the current drug overdose epidemic is actually an opioid epidemic or, to be more specific, a fentanyl epidemic.
The ongoing fentanyl crisis is even more serious in the country’s more populated cities, such as New York, the business center of the US. According to the New York State Public Health Department, out of the 5400 deaths resulting from drug overdose in 2022, more than three thousand were caused by fentanyl! These deaths could’ve been avoided by early intervention and timely administration of treatment.
Let’s have a closer look at the current situation of the fentanyl epidemic in New York City and discuss what can be done to control it and provide help and treatment to the victims. As well as how the city’s reputable health services like Fusion Recovery and Humana are tackling fentanyl addiction in NY.
Fentanyl – The Lethal Opioid
Fentanyl is a substance that has, in recent years, gained a notorious reputation for causing the majority of drug overdose deaths in America. But despite its ill fame, very few people are actually aware of the drug and know what it is. Fentanyl is a synthetically manufactured opioid that is available in liquid as well as powdered form. Unlike other opioids like heroin and morphine, made from the leaves of Opium Poppy, fentanyl is entirely synthesized in a lab.
The drug is used for treating chronic pains and is legally available in pharmacies with a prescription. However, it is also widely sold illicitly on the street, at parties, and online. Fentanyl causes close to seventy percent of annual overdose deaths in America. The drug is highly unpredictable, as even a very small quantity of it can cause a fatal overdose.
Fentanyl Addiction – An Overview
Fentanyl, just like other opioids, binds with the opioid receptors in the central nervous system of the user, which results in a rush of dopamine. This dopamine rush causes the user to feel a sudden euphoric sensation, also called a high. This high usually lasts for only a few minutes, but users often get addicted to the feeling, thus developing a dependency on the drug.
Fentanyl is commonly used as an analgesic in the medical field, and healthcare providers often prescribe the drug to treat various diseases. However, even when medically prescribed, the user can develop an addiction to fentanyl.
The Dangers of Fentanyl Addiction
Fentanyl, being a lab-synthesized opioid, is almost a hundred times more potent than morphine and fifty times more potent than heroin. Due to its high potency, not only does fentanyl have a high addictive potential, but it also causes severe harm to the addict’s physical as well as mental health. Some of the medical issues associated with fentanyl include respiratory problems, heart issues, constipation, hypothermia (low body temperature), and nausea.
Fentanyl also has a very high risk of overdose and is the main drug behind most deaths resulting from drug overdosing. According to the DEA, around 2 grams of the substance should be considered a lethal dose. However, even the smallest amounts of fentanyl have caused deaths in some cases.
Fentanyl addiction not only affects the physical health of the victim, but it severely scars their mental health as well. Some mental health issues related to fentanyl use and addiction include depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and severe mood changes. On top of all these issues, fentanyl addiction can also cause social issues, problems with relationships, and even trouble with the law.
Fentanyl Overdose Deaths in New York Reach Record High
According to the New York State Health Department, fentanyl-related overdose deaths reached a record high in 2022, with the toll exceeding three thousand deaths. Almost one-third of all drug-related deaths, especially opioid overdose deaths, involve the lethal opiate fentanyl. Considering the increasing drug-related death rates, especially overdose deaths involving fentanyl, the government has declared the fentanyl problem in the city a public health issue.
One of the biggest reasons the opioid crisis (or the opioid epidemic) is only getting severe is the easy availability of drugs on the streets of NYC. Despite the efforts of the New York Police Department, a person can very conveniently buy fentanyl from the streets or even online! Secondly, there is a general lack of awareness regarding fentanyl and its extremely dangerous effects on the public, further fueling the situation.
But what are the city and its public departments doing to control the fentanyl epidemic in New York?
What NY Is Doing to Tackle Fentanyl Addiction
New York is taking its fentanyl problem very seriously, and the city’s public departments have taken various initiatives to curb the epidemic and save its citizens.
First, educational and awareness programs are being set up to educate the general public, especially the youth, regarding fentanyl and its harmful effects. Not only for the general public, but a variety of programs are also being initiated for healthcare providers to help them adopt safer prescription practices.
In addition to that, access to Naloxone, a life-saving drug that can reverse opioid overdoses, is being made easier for the public. This initiative can greatly help save hundreds of precious lives. Furthermore, the government is introducing different opioid addiction treatments to make things as convenient as possible for the victims. The NYPD has also started a serious crackdown on the illegal distribution and sale of fentanyl in the city.
Role of Health Services in Tackling Fentanyl Addiction in NY
Where New York’s public departments are working rigorously, the city’s health services can and are doing their best to tackle fentanyl addiction in NY. It is a fact that deaths resulting from overdose are preventable, which means that with proper awareness, early intervention, and timely giving the victims due treatments and care, countless lives can be saved!
New York’s health services are the first to treat fentanyl addicts seeking help, and they are doing their job amazingly! These services provide immediate and effective care to the victims and stay in touch with them throughout recovery, counseling and therapy sessions, and aftercare to help them stay motivated in their journey to fight addiction.
How Is Fusion Recovery Helping the Cause?
Fusion Recovery, New York City’s most trusted rehabilitation service, is playing a recognition-worthy role in tackling fentanyl addiction in the city. Fusion Recovery has considerable experience in the rehabilitation field, and the organization uses this experience to help fentanyl addiction victims get back to their normal lives as soon as possible. The service has centers all around the city, in all major locations, that are open 24/7 to help anyone in need.
Fusion Recovery has a highly trained staff that ensures not only the effectiveness of their administered treatments but also the comfortability of their patients. Skilled medical professionals look after the victims and provide them with 24/7 assistance in state-of-the-art, fully-equipped rehab centers. You can learn more about Fusion Recovery, the treatments offered, as well as some amazing success stories on the health service’s official webpage.
Personalized Treatment Programs
One of the biggest pros of Fusion Recovery is that the health service provides highly personalized treatment programs based on the patient’s medical data, as recorded at the time of admission, as well as many other factors. These personalized programs are very effective and generate quick results, helping the patient recover faster.
Wellness and Nutrition Services
As discussed earlier, fentanyl addiction can seriously affect the victim’s physical and mental health. At Fusion Recovery, each patient is given special wellness and nutrition services to help them recover their full health during treatment. Highly trained nutritionists design special diet plans for recovering patients to aid recovery. In addition to that, psychological therapy, as well as counseling sessions, are given to improve the victim’s mental health.
Providing Effective Aftercare Services
Fentanyl is a highly addictive and potent drug, and withdrawal from it is extremely difficult and dangerous without medical supervision. Withdrawing addicts can experience serious physical and especially mental health issues such as depression and suicidal thoughts. Furthermore, there is a very high chance of relapse in the case of fentanyl addiction, which is why proper aftercare of patients is extremely important.
Exceptional aftercare services are provided for all recovering patients at Fusion Recovery. The patients are kept in contact, and instructions regarding craving suppression are given to help them avoid relapsing. Furthermore, they are engaged with support groups to keep them motivated in their fight against fentanyl addiction.
Partnership With Humana
Fusion Recovery has partnered with Humana, America’s 4th biggest healthcare insurance company, in its battle against Fentanyl addiction in NY. This partnership will help make fentanyl addiction or other opioid treatment plans as affordable as possible for the victims. Fusion Recovery proudly accepts Humana insurance, so if you’re insured by the company, start your treatment immediately without worry!
Fentanyl Overdose – How to Spot it?
Some signs of a fentanyl overdose include vomiting, cold skin, constricted pupils, difficulty standing or walking, choking, slow breathing, limp body, and loss of consciousness. If you notice any of the signs mentioned above in anyone, seek medical help as soon as possible and stay with them until it arrives.
The Importance of Early Intervention
Early intervention is extremely important in the case of fentanyl as it can save the victim’s life. If you or someone you know is suffering from fentanyl addiction, get help as soon as possible, as it might save their life!
Final Thoughts – Tackling Fentanyl Addiction in NY: Fusion Recovery’s Partnership With Humana
Fentanyl is a highly addictive and potent drug with serious health consequences, including overdose and death. It is important to be aware of the dangers of fentanyl and to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction. Many effective treatments are available, and with the right support, people can recover from fentanyl addiction and live healthy and fulfilling lives.