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What Does a Fentanyl Overdose Look Like?

The number of people who die from Fentanyl overdose is staggering. But what does a fentanyl overdose look like? This is a valid question for anyone who has friends or family who struggle with this drug, or even if you yourself struggle with it. Understanding what exactly fentanyl is, what makes it so lethal, and the common signs of a Fentanyl overdose can help you to identify when someone is experiencing it. There are ways to help when an overdose is occurring and acting quickly and efficiently could potentially save someone’s life. 

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine, however it is 50 to 100 times more potent and can be extremely lethal. It is only legally attainable through prescription, however it is also illegally manufactured and distributed for people to use with no regulation on dosage. It is a medication that is meant to treat severe pain, and help those who use it. However, because of its potency and effects it is also widely abused and misused. 

Abuse and misuse of this drug can lead to dependence, addiction and potentially overdose and death. A fentanyl overdose can look like someone is struggling to breathe, or not breathing at all. They can be unresponsive, or incoherent. There are many signs of fentanyl overdose to look out for.

What Makes Fentanyl So Lethal?

Because fentanyl is up to 100 times stronger than morphine, it is extremely lethal. Ingestion of even a small amount can lead to death. It is fast-acting, and this adds to the dangers associated with fentanyl. Being aware of what a fentanyl overdose looks like can help you to have quick responses that could reverse the overdose and potentially save someone from dying.

Common Signs of Fentanyl Overdose

There are many signs that could be indicative of a fentanyl overdose. However, there are some signs that are more commonly seen in those who are experiencing an overdose. Fentanyl overdose can look like:

  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Low or weak pulse
  • Vomiting
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Pale skin
  • Blue lips and nail beds
  • Small pupils

During a fentanyl overdose, the slow or labored breathing that can occur can cause oxygen deprivation to the brain and organs. After all, oxygen is essential to the body’s functionality. When it is oxygen deprived it can lead to brain damage and organ failure. 

How Quickly Does Overdose Happen?

Fentanyl overdose can look like someone is just sleeping it off. When it happens, watching out for the signs of overdose and acting as quickly as possible can make all the difference. Overdose can happen as quickly as a minute after it is injected. Because fentanyl is used in different methods, there isn’t a simple timeline to give, however because it is so fast acting, it can literally take effect in the body almost immediately and lead to overdose. Because of this, being hyper vigilant and aware of what a fentanyl overdose looks like can be crucial to making sure the person can survive it. 

How to Treat a Fentanyl Overdose

Like other opioids, fentanyl has an antidote that can potentially reverse overdose effects. It can also assist in ensuring that the person can receive medical treatment. The commonly used opioid reversal drug NARCAN can help a person regain consciousness and start breathing again.

That said, 911 should always be called. Paramedics are trained to attend to the person to ensure they are stabilized. And doctors can ensure there is no brain or organ damage caused by lack of oxygen. 

If you or someone you know struggles with fentanyl, the best course of action to take is to seek detox and addiction treatment. Suffering through addiction can lead to fatal results. There is help available to help you navigate the process of recovering from addiction. 

Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction in Marietta, GA

Struggling with opioids like fentanyl is a gamble. Using this drug, you never know what can happen, or if you will be okay after using it. Addiction to fentanyl can, and a lot of the times it does lead to overdose and potentially death. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction to fentanyl, the best thing that you can do is seek help for the addiction. There are professionals who can help you overcome the physical addiction and learn a set of positive and healthy skills to help you get through the situations that lead you to using the drug in the first place.

At Empowered Recovery Center we offer a spectrum of care that can help you to begin regaining control of your life back. Contact us today, our team is standing by to help you begin your journey to recovery.

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    Marietta, GA 30066

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