Fentanyl Detox & Treatment in British Columbia
The Current State of Fentanyl abuse and use in British Columbia
Throughout the many years that fentanyl has been a problem in British Columbia, there have been countless statistics and rising numbers with overdose and accidental deaths because of fentanyl use. The coroner service in British Columbia has reported that over 1400 in people in 2017 have died because of an illicit drug overdose. This was an unfortunate increase of over 40 percent from the pervious year, and over 80 percent of these overdose deaths involved fentanyl. British Columbia had already declared a state of emergency, and has pushed through different harm reduction services and preventative measure, but people are still dying from using fentanyl. Almost 90 percent of the people who died from a fentanyl overdose were alone in a home, with no one around to help them. The numbers also show that four out of five people who die from fentanyl are men, and are between the ages of 30 and 49. The city of Vancouver within the province saw the highest number of deaths, and other cities such as Surrey and Victoria were also reporting high numbers. Unfortunately, the information that was coming from the British Columbia coroners services have reported that none of the deaths were happening at the safe injection sites or overdose prevention sites. This can mean that addicts are not using these sites or people are being saved in time at these sites if an overdose does occur. The city of Vancouver is a major hub for the import of illegally produced fentanyl and from there the drug is then trafficked all throughout the country. Both the provincial government in BC and the Federal government are taking particular steps to help curb this problem, but overdose deaths are still happening.
How can someone know they are using fentanyl?
British Columbia declared a health crisis in 2016 and in 2017 and early 2018 there have been some months where there was a decrease in deaths, but many officials say it is still too early to know if what the province is doing is actually helping. With the help of Naloxone kits and first responders being equipped with these kits, many people have been saved, but this will not always help other drug users who are using illegal drugs that may be laced with fentanyl. The illegal fentanyl that is being consumed in British Columbia is primarily being made in China in labs and is a much higher concentration that what is given for medical purposes. Fentanyl is also mixed in with other opioids, and it has also been found in other drugs such as cocaine or even marijuana. The local RCMP has found illegally manufactured fentanyl in pill form that is sold as fake OxyContin and club drugs; it has been found in heroin and also found to be mixed in with other drugs such as cocaine, and crystal meth. It is obviously important for every drug user to get to treatment and receive the proper help, but many experts recommend that drug users should never use alone, start with small amounts, don’t mix substances, and call 911 if an overdose is suspected. Many of the safe injection sites and overdose prevention sites may have the ability to test drugs for the user if they are unsure of what may be in it, but this is not always accurate.
Can someone become addicted to fentanyl and how is it treated?
When fentanyl is given for medical reasons, it is often administered as a patch that will slowly release the drug over 48 to 72 hours. There was a time, and it does still happen, where these patches are sold illegally, and like any other opioid, an addict can become addicted to and dependent on the drug. The illegally made and sold fentanyl is a more concentrated form, but even the fentanyl used for medical purposes is still 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl is given to patients who are tolerant of every other brand of opioid, and require something that will be effective. Fentanyl can become addictive, and does require the right type of help to ensure an addict can successfully overcome the addiction. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs in British Columbia such as medical detox centers and inpatient treatment facilities will provide the better treatment options. Medical detox is essential, and will help an addict who is addicted to fentanyl safely go through the withdrawal pains. Opioid withdrawal is one primary reason why opioid addicts will not get help. Inpatient drug rehab centers are located all across the province of British Columbia, and this can either be a long-term program or a short-term facility. Regardless of how severe the opioid addiction may be; an addict must find the best possible help and rehabilitation they can.