Local alcohol and drug treatment center Serenity Lane recently released a blog answering common questions about fentanyl overdose. They cover how to spot the signs of a fentanyl overdose, how dangerous it is, what to do if someone has overdosed on fentanyl, who is most at risk of fentanyl overdose, and next steps for anyone struggling with fentanyl use.
Serenity Lane first shares statistics in the blog to highlight the increased problem of fentanyl in Oregon: “From 2018 to 2022, the amount of fentanyl seized in Oregon went from 690 to over 2 million. In the first half of 2023 alone, over 1.2 million opioid prescriptions were handed out. Finally, opioids were responsible for over 67% of all overdoses in the state in 2021.”
The article goes on to say, “Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than morphine. It’s used primarily for patients with high pain management needs, such as cancer patients. The combination of it being synthetic and its high potency makes it an easy target for drug dealers everywhere.” The article continues by sharing substances laced with fentanyl provide the largest chance of overdose, and people using these substances won’t even be aware of it, because fentanyl is unrecognizable to human senses. That is why Serenity Lane recommends the use of fentanyl testing strips. They also encourage everyone to seek out local syringe service programs to see if they have testing strips available for use.
Serenity Lane also provides the signs of an opioid overdose to be on the lookout for: small pupils, shallow or uneven breathing, muscle spasms, confusion or slurred speech, sudden drowsiness or unconsciousness, and blue-tinted skin. Serenity Lane implores anyone experiencing these symptoms or witnessing them to seek medical attention immediately. They assure everyone that Good Samaritan Laws will ensure no one is prosecuted for seeking help for an overdose. In fact, they recommend sharing any known knowledge about the use habits of the person overdosing. They also suggest having the medication Naloxone on hand if possible, because this medication blocks opioid receptors and helps prevent serious overdoses.
When it comes to risk factors of overdose, Serenity Lane warns that frequent use of substances increases likelihood of overdose, because while the person using the substances may feel as if they’ve grown tolerant of the substance’s effects, their body cannot process it any more easily than the first time they used the substance. Additionally, “Things like your metabolism, the other substances in your body, how much of a substance you take, your age, and even your weight can influence how or if you experience an overdose,” Serenity Lane shares in the blog.
The article then offers hope and support to those struggling with substance use disorders, and suggestions on paths toward treatment, recommending care involving medication-assisted treatment programs (MAT).
Serenity Lane is the oldest non-profit program in the state of Oregon, specializing in helping people overcome substance use disorders. They offer a full continuum of care, from detox to outpatient, and have several local locations around the state to offer support even after residential programs are complete. Serenity Lane also leads programs for families, first responders, and more. They additionally offer specialized, licensed training to medical personnel all across the country.
Anyone looking for more information on Serenity Lane and their alcohol and drug treatment services can find it on their website, by calling them at 800-543-9905, or by contacting them through email.
Serenity Lane’s mission is to transform lives through the treatment of addiction. What sets our Portland South East Outpatient Center apart from the rest is that we offer affordable substance abuse treatment and medically assisted detox.
12662 SE Stark, Plaza 125 Bldg. A.
Portland, OR, 97233
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July 05, 2022 – Serenity Lane Portland East Elucidates on Fentanyl Withdrawals
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