Fentanyl Crisis Expanding Westward: California Rehab Warns of Increased Overdose Deaths in the State

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COSTA MESA, Calif., Sept. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Fentanyls, the synthetic opioids responsible for the majority of drug overdoses, are turning up more and more in the western United States. Addiction experts warn that could accelerate overdose deaths in the region. They urge people struggling with dependence to seek help finding sobriety.

The CDC recently released preliminary statistics showing drug overdose deaths increased by almost 30 percent in 2020. Deaths rose from 72,113 in 2019 to 93,331, an increase of 29.4 percent. The agency is tracking increased deaths in the West and Southeast, where law enforcement officials say they are confiscating more and more illegal fentanyls.

"These reports indicate that increases in synthetic opioid-involved deaths are being driven by increases in fentanyl-involved overdose deaths," the agency says, "and the source of the fentanyl is more likely to be illicitly manufactured than pharmaceutical."

Fentanyls are potent synthetic opioids that are up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. They are prescribed legally for "breakthrough pain" – pain that is too intense to respond to standard medication. They're also manufactured and sold illicitly. Illegal versions have become increasingly popular because they're cheap and easy to transport on skin patches or oral tablets. Fentanyls are often added to heroin and other drugs without users' knowledge.

Tragically, many of those who died from drug overdoses might have been helped if they had found effective treatment. The CDC says more than three in five people who died from drug overdoses "had an identified opportunity for linkage to care or life-saving actions."

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), the use of medications to reduce cravings for opioids and blunt their effects if they are used, has also become a powerful tool in the treatment of opioid addiction.

"We are seeing more people coming into treatment after surviving Fentanyl overdose, with humbling nature, we are working to focus on changing the thinking behind the behavior," said Steve Fennelly, founder and CEO of Resurgence Behavioral Health, an addiction treatment center with locations in California, Texas, and Tennessee.

Resurgence offers comprehensive recovery programs including medical detox, MAT, residential and outpatient rehab, and extensive follow-up programs to prevent relapse. They often treat substance use disorders in tandem with underlying emotional and psychological disorders. Rehab includes counseling in life skills designed to instill healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with circumstances that contribute to addiction.

For help or more information, call 800-426-1818 or visit Resurgence California

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SOURCE Resurgence Behavioral Health

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