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Fentanyl Epidemic In Orange County, California

The Fentanyl Epidemic in Orange County Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that has affected many lives in Orange county. The authorities have had to declare it an epidemic on its own. Sadly there are reports that Fentanyl claimed lives as young as 14, 16, and 18 years old.  The Fentanyl related deaths in Orange County […]

The Fentanyl Epidemic in Orange County

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that has affected many lives in Orange county. The authorities have had to declare it an epidemic on its own. Sadly there are reports that Fentanyl claimed lives as young as 14, 16, and 18 years old. 

The Fentanyl related deaths in Orange County are even higher than the fentanyl-related deaths in the entire state of California. Research shows that for every 100,000 men in Orange County, there are almost six opiate-related deaths. For every 100,000 women in Orange County, there are almost two synthetic opioid-related deaths. Therefore, there is an average of 4 synthetic opiate-related deaths for every hundred thousand people in Orange County.

The opioid epidemic is also co-occurring with the COVID-19 epidemic, which makes a recovery even more challenging. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared an opioid epidemic in 1999. According to the CDC, there have been almost 1 million drug overdose-related deaths in the United States since 1999 the number of deaths associated with synthetic opioids like fentanyl has increased four times between 2011 and 2017. In 2019 alone, there were about 70,000 opioid overdose deaths. 70% of these deaths are related to illicit or prescription or periods. 

California is one of the states that has been affected a lot by the opioid epidemic. Orange County in California is also in the middle of an opioid epidemic. In 2018 alone, there were 1.8 million opiate prescriptions in the county. The average number of prescriptions for the previous three years was 1.5 million.

Moreover, Orange County’s opioid overdose death rate is higher than the rate for the entire state of California. Fentanyl is an opioid that has infamously contributed to the growth of the opioid epidemic in the United States, California, and Orange County.

Measures To Contain the Fentanyl Epidemic in Orange County

Orange County stakeholders collaborated with the Orange County Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board (ADAB) and the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) to provide measures and services to prevent and reduce opioid abuse and addiction. According to a 2018 report, The Healthcare agency currently provides the following services to help manage the opioid crisis:

Prevention

Some of the prevention measures include public awareness campaigns, prevention awareness, and prevention education programs for the youth. 

Harm Reduction

The HCA has also embarked on harm reduction measures like distribution of harm reduction and life-saving medication supplies to the public. A good example is the distribution of fentanyl strips that help you test for fentanyl in your drugs. The HCA also issues out medication like your naloxone, which helps with opiate detox and withdrawal. 

Treatment and Recovery

The HCA recommends substance abuse treatment for youth aged 12 to 17 years and incarcerated people. They also intend to open up a treatment campus.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid which doctors usually prescribe for severe or chronic pain such as cancer pain. It is one of the most addictive prescription drugs. Fentanyl is available in brands like Actiq®, Duragesic®, and Sublimaze®. It also has street names like:

  • China girl 
  • China white 
  • Apache 
  • Friend 
  • Dance Fever 
  • Goodfellas 
  • Murder 8 
  • Jackpot 
  • Tango & cash 

 

Research shows not Fentanyl important and morphine by 50 to 100 times. Fentanyl is attached to the opioid receptors in your brain and therefore reduces pain. Abuse of fentanyl poses various effects that can turn out to be life-threatening. 

What Are the Effects of Using Fentanyl?

Abuse of fentanyl or any other opioids could affect your brain sensitivity to opioids. With time you will only find pleasure in using more fentanyl. Apart from tolerance and dependence, the effects of fentanyl abuse include:

  • Confusion 
  • Nausea 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Sedation 
  • Breathing problems 
  • Constipation
  • Extreme happiness 
  • Unconsciousness 

 

There is also a huge risk of overdose on fentanyl because the drug has a very high potency. Fentanyl overdose causes slowed or stopped breathing. Therefore, your brain gets a lower amount of oxygen, resulting in coma, permanent brain damage, or even death.

 

Fentanyl Withdrawal

Opioid withdrawal is very dangerous. People who are addicted to fentanyl experience withdrawal symptoms a few hours after the last dose. These symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Severe cravings 
  • Intense sweating 
  • Runny nose 
  • Difficulty staying asleep 
  • Difficulty falling asleep 
  • Bone and muscle pain 
  • Uncontrollable leg movements 
  • Cold flashes and chills

 

What Treatments Available for Fentanyl Abuse and Addiction?

Treatment for fentanyl abuse and addiction usually depends on your individual needs. You will have a sustainable recovery if the treatment addresses your individual needs. However, the common treatments programs include:

  • Detox 

Detoxification is the process of eliminating fentanyl from your system. Fentanyl is a highly potent drug which means that the withdrawal symptoms will be very uncomfortable. Doctors may prescribe opioid withdrawal medication like Naltrexone to ease the symptoms. You can choose to get ultra-rapid detox to skip the discomfort of withdrawal.

  • Inpatient Rehab 

Inpatient rehab is where you are a full-time resident at the rehab facility for the duration of your treatment. You will participate in various programs like therapy, drug abuse education, and more.

  • Intensive Outpatient Rehab

 Intensive outpatient rehab is a program that is as rigorous and as effective as inpatient treatment. However, you get to spend most of your day at the rehab center and then go home in the evening. 

  • Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehab is usually a step down from inpatient and intensive outpatient rehab. It is also ideal for people with a one-time or mild fentanyl use disorder. 

  • Ongoing Support

You will also need the ongoing support of family and support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous to help maintain sobriety and avoid relapse. 

Get Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment in Orange County

Coastline Behavioral Health in Orange County offers drug and alcohol abuse treatment in California. We also offer mental health treatment to address underlying issues such s depression and anxiety. Our team of professionals will evaluate your needs before coming up with a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan to help you achieve long-term recovery. Call us today at (714)-841-2260 to get immediate drug and alcohol abuse treatment.

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