Fentanyl Detox & Treatment in New Brunswick
Is fentanyl impacting the East Coast?
Essentially, yes, the fentanyl crisis has hit all parts of the country, some far worse than others, but for many years the province of New Brunswick has always dealt with opioids such as Dilaudid and other similar prescription pain medications. Fentanyl has found its way to the eastern provinces such as with being mixed with other types of pain medications. Fentanyl is an opioid that is generally used to manage pain, and is often given to cancer patients and people who are requiring a stronger pain medication. Some of the reasons why people overdose using fentanyl and other pain medications in New Brunswick is because they will mix the drugs with other drugs including alcohol, many addicts tend to use alone, and are unaware that a tiny amount of fentanyl can cause an overdose. Some of signs of a fentanyl overdose include dizziness and confusion, slow or weak breathing, pinpoint pupils, and a possible coma. Opioid addiction is a common problem throughout much of New Brunswick, and there are few drug and alcohol treatment programs available with in the province, which is why many addict’s travel to Quebec or Ontario receive help. The fentanyl crisis has impacts New Brunswick, not on such as a scale as other province, but there have been deaths in the province connected to Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic drug, and is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. The drug is legally prescribed, and made for pharmaceutical reasons, but there is non-pharmaceutical fentanyl that is produced overseas and smuggled into Canada. Pharmaceutical fentanyl comes as tablets, lozenges, skin patches, oral spray, and intravenous use. Fentanyl within the illegal drug market is a growing concern because the drug is added to other street drugs, such as cocaine, meth, marijuana, and club drugs.
How do addicts commonly overdose using fentanyl?
Pill or powder drugs that are used in New Brunswick may contain traces of fentanyl, and this is one of the most common ways that addicts die. There is no possible way of knowing if there is fentanyl in the drugs that someone is using, and the illegally manufactured fentanyl is being sold as tablets, as a powder, on blotter paper, as a liquid, and mixed with other drugs. In 2017 in New Brunswick, there were over 30 deaths from an accidental overdose, that were caused by opioids, and eight of these deaths were because of fentanyl. This number of opioid deaths in 2017 represents over a 25 percent increase from previous years, and the province had not seen high numbers like this since 2005. Fentanyl was the cause of seven deaths in 2017, and one death was connected to carfentanil, which is a powerful sedative used on elephants. Many of the numbers being recorded in New Brunswick indicate that fatal and non-fatal overdose deaths are on the rise, but it is still lower than western Canada, and much of Ontario. The most commonly abused opioid drugs being used in New Brunswick include fentanyl, Oxycontin, Dilaudid and morphine. In 2017, the mortality rate for opioid-related deaths is estimated to be 4.4 deaths per 100,000 people, which is up from 2016. All the statistics coming out of New Brunswick show that more people are dying after taking illicit drugs or opioids, and deaths because of prescriptions are much lower.
What is New Brunswick doing to save lives?
The province is taking steps to help reduce the number of deaths connected to opioids, especially among young people. The chief medical officer of health in the province has indicated that the age of people who are dying because of opioids is trending to be younger. More drug prevention and education are being gotten out to young people to ensure they can get the right information. In 2017, the province also spent money to purchase naloxone kits for front-line addiction workers and paramedics and first responders. Despite all this, there are still many overdoses that are not reported, and over 100 people in 2017 were treated in hospitals for an opioid overdose. Illicit opioids are a continuing problem within the province of New Brunswick, especially among younger people. Drug treatment and detox programs in the province work to help addicts and their families. Anyone struggling with an addiction to opioids, especially fentanyl, should reach out to local treatment programs for help. An addiction assessment can help an addict find the proper treatment and care; they need. Family members that have seen loved ones die because of fentanyl should also seek out the appropriate counseling and support. Family support groups in New Brunswick are essential, especially when coping with the loss of loved one who may have overdosed because of fentanyl.