Category: Drug Dangers

fentanyl overdose

The Signs and Symptoms of a Fentanyl Overdose

The United States is in the middle of an opioid crisis, and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping.

Fentanyl overdoses have claimed over 200 lives in San Diego County alone. That only counts cases in the first half of this year. To put that in perspective, the same county recorded just over 150 deaths for the whole of last year.

If San Diego County is any indication of how the rest of the country is being affected, Fentanyl overdoses will climb significantly this year. It may be a good idea to learn how to spot a Fentanyl overdose. We’ll tell you some things to look for in this article.

1. Drowsiness

We’ve already mentioned that Fentanyl is an opioid, but what is an opioid? An opioid is a prescription pain-reliever, and they’re often very powerful.

Being pain-relievers, opioids can cause drowsiness. However, drowsiness can also be a sign of an overdose. 

A person suffering from an overdose will show signs of extreme drowsiness. They may struggle to stay awake and even nod off from time to time.

If the person does nod off or lose consciousness, call 911. It’s better to report a false alarm than to be too late.

2. Dizziness and Confusion

In addition to experiencing drowsiness, the person will often become dizzy and confused. Sometimes, the person will get confused very quickly, while other times it will be one of the last symptoms to occur.

The person may speak incoherently. They may stumble around as they walk. At some point, they’ll fall over, for one reason or another. 

3. Tiny Pupils

This condition is often called ‘pinpoint pupils,’ and it’s not hard to see why. This is when pupils not only shrink but constrict to a very small size, not much bigger than a pinpoint.

Constriction of the pupils is caused by the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for certain functions associated with rest and relaxation.

This may come as no surprise, given the extreme drowsiness earlier. However, it’s more than just a symptom of tiredness.

Pinpoint pupils, or miosis, only happens for a few reasons, and one of them is a drug overdose. If someone has pinpoint pupils, call 911 immediately.

4. Blue Skin and Lips

One of the more serious symptoms of a Fentanyl overdose is the lips and skin turning blue, especially in the fingers and toes. The medical term for this is cyanosis, and it’s a sign of poor or reduced circulation.

The person is not getting enough oxygen, and you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Signs of a Fentanyl Overdose

Fentanyl is a serious problem, and it causes more and more deaths every year. We’ve talked about how to spot a Fentanyl overdose in this article, but we couldn’t go into detail about all the symptoms. We encourage you to do more research on your own, just to make sure you’re fully prepared.

If you want to know more about opioids and how to help someone with an opioid addiction please visit our site. We can tell you more about us and how we can help.

fentanyl addiction

7 Reasons Why Fentanyl Addiction and Abuse Is Dangerous

Out of all opioid-related overdose deaths, nearly half involve fentanyl. Learning about the dangers of fentanyl addiction and abuse will encourage you to get help for yourself or your loved one.

In 2016, fentanyl was responsible for causing 45.9% of opioid-related overdose deaths. Because fentanyl abuse and addiction are increasing at alarming rates, it’s important to know why fentanyl is harmful.

You deserve to know how fentanyl destroys lives. It does much more damage than people realize.

Here are 7 reasons why you shouldn’t abuse fentanyl:

1. Overdose

Fentanyl is between 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl’s potency makes it easier to overdose on. This fact alone means it’s worth it to seek addiction treatment for fentanyl.

Overdose is especially likely if someone takes fentanyl in cocaine without knowing that it’s laced.

2. Hypoxia

Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous drugs because fentanyl overdose causes breathing to slow or stop. This reduces the amount of oxygen you get to your brain. Hypoxia is a condition that describes when your brain’s not getting enough oxygen.

Hypoxia alone can cause permanent brain damage, coma, or death.

3. Cardiac Arrest

Hypoxia often leads to cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest happens when a person abruptly loses their heart function.

Cardiac arrest can kill you. An inpatient addiction rehab can help you before it’s too late.

4. Even Small Doses Can Be Lethal

Many people with fentanyl abuse problems say, “But I only do a little bit!’

But, it doesn’t take much fentanyl to cause an overdose. Someone can overdose by taking as little as 2 or 3 milligrams of fentanyl. Even people who “only do a little bit” should seek help from a drug rehab center.

5. Impairment

Fentanyl is one of the most abused prescription drugs because it’s fast-acting.

How long does fentanyl last? It only takes minutes for fentanyl to kick in. Users usually feel the effects of fentanyl for between 30 to 90 minutes.

Considering there are only 24 hours in a day, fentanyl steals a chunk of your life. If this keeps happening to you, seek addiction rehab in Florida immediately.

6. Fentanyl Withdrawal

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are highly uncomfortable and hard on your body/mind. Fentanyl patch withdrawal can even cause twitching muscles, diarrhea, and hallucinations. If withdrawal symptoms aren’t managed properly, they can cause death.

It’s best to get medical supervision to help you through fentanyl withdrawal at a Florida rehab center. Getting professional help for fentanyl is just as legitimate as attending an alcohol rehab center.

7. Seizure

Abusing fentanyl can cause seizures. A seizure happens when there’s an abnormal electrical activity present in the brain.

Drugs like fentanyl are directly responsible for overwhelming the brain and causing seizures.

Start Your Recovery From Fentanyl Addiction

The CDC (Center For Disease Control and Prevention) describes synthetic opioids like fentanyl as “the main driver of drug overdose deaths.” Fortunately, it’s not too late to fight fentanyl addiction.

Instead of losing your battle against addiction, begin the healing process—learn more about our treatment for heroin/opiate addiction. It’s the best decision you’ll ever make.

types of prescription drugs

Which Types of Prescription Drugs Are the Most Abused?

In 2017, over 17,000 Americans died from prescription opioids overdoses. While this included all age ranges, teens have a tendency to believe since the drug has a prescription, it’s safe. But they aren’t.

How to kids get a hold of these prescriptions? Most of them find them in the medicine cabinet at home. But kids aren’t the only ones testing prescription drugs for recreational purposes.

For example, young adults make up 60% of those using Adderall for nonmedical reasons.

So what types of prescription drugs are most likely to be abused?


Sedatives include sleep medications like Lunesta and Ambien. It also includes benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium.

Sedatives are usually prescribed to treat sleep disorders, anxiety, and panic disorders.

As a result, people use sedatives to help them relax and calm down or even get to sleep. Sedatives can help tame racing thoughts, and even create feelings of euphoria.

Yet, they’re all highly addictive. This is the case even if they’re marketed as a less addictive version. An overdose can cause comas, cardiac issues, breathing problems, or even death. These drugs are especially lethal when mixed with other sedatives.

Pain Killers

Dr. House, from the TV series House, abused Vicodin to help control his pain. Other commonly abused painkillers include Fentanyl, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Morphine, and Methadone.

Pain killers are a true gateway drug. 86% of urban heroin users used prescription opioids before switching to heroin. Compared to prescription pain killers, heroin was cheaper and easier to get.

Anthony Kedis is a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In his book, Scar Tissue, he attributed his first relapse to prescription painkillers. They were given to him during a dental procedure.

Painkillers have other detriments. Like others on this list, an overdose on painkillers is lethal.

Curious about the opioid crisis? You can learn more here.


The most commonly abused stimulants are Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta. With a prescription, they’re used to treat conditions like ADHD and narcolepsy.

Recreationally, people use stimulants to improve their focus and memory.

But like the other drugs on this list, it’s possible to overdose and die. Depending on the drug, they can cause physical or habitual addictions.

Cough Medicines

You don’t need a prescription to get cough medicine. As a result, people are turning to it for recreational purposes.

In high doses, cough syrup can mimic the effects of drugs like PCP and ketamine.

Even though people can buy cough syrup without a prescription, it’s not safe in doses large enough to get high. Overdose can cause seizures, and even coma or death.

These Types of Prescription Drugs Are Most Likely to Be Abused

These types of prescription drugs are most likely to be abused. When you have a prescription drug in your home, use them responsibly. Make sure the drugs are only used by the individual with the prescription.

Keep an eye out for missing medicines. Always safely dispose of unused medicines to keep them out of reach.

Are you or someone you love battling addiction? Please call us today at 855-822-4265. We can help.

common drug

You’re Not Alone: The Most Common Drug Addictions People Seek Treatment For

The scariest thing about addiction is that it can affect anyone you know — and you may not even know it. Each year, millions of people, both adolescent, and adult succumb to addiction.

Whether you’re hoping to help a loved one get on the road to recovery or you’re looking for a better life for yourself, learning the facts is the first step toward healthier, addiction-free living.

Here are the most common drug addictions people seek treatment for.


Many people don’t think that alcohol qualifies as a drug. Yet according to traditional definitions, it indeed fits in the category.

Miriam-Webster defines a drug as, “a substance other than food intended to affect the structure or function of the body.”

Though alcohol is the most common drug in terms of social acceptance, its abuse isn’t any less dangerous.

An estimated 88,000 people die each year from alcohol-related fatalities, including alcohol poisoning. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, that makes it the third greatest leading cause of death in the entire country.

Don’t let societal permissibility fool you, frequent alcohol use can kill.


It’s impossible to turn on the news without hearing a story about another fatal opioid overdose. In fact, few drugs have seen a rise as sharp as that of opioids.

While many health experts are left scratching their heads, things are so bad that opioid addiction has become a full-blown epidemic.

An estimated 46 people die each day due to opioid abuse each day, and trends show no signs of a change.

Perhaps the worst aspect of the crisis is that most opioid addictions don’t start by choice. Many common painkillers, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, feature the highly-addictive chemicals.


Before we go any further, we feel it’s important to note that marijuana use in and of itself isn’t altogether bad.

In fact, speaking from a medical standpoint, marijuana isn’t without its benefits. Proper usage can aid with inflammation, anxiety, and even some cancers.

Yet most marijuana use isn’t for medicinal purposes and can lead to overconsumption, thus causing a disruption in the user’s life. In fact, marijuana use is so common that it qualifies as the most common drug.


With a basis in the South American coca plant, cocaine is one of the most addictive stimulants on earth.

Cocaine use can make users feel extreme sensations of euphoria and rushes of energy, only to cause them to crash moments later. Cocaine is so addictive that a few experiences with the drug are enough to cause addiction.

And once a drug user becomes addicted to cocaine, things only get worse.

Soon, the addict will find that they need more cocaine to feel even a fraction of the high they felt before. They’re also likely to experience severe bouts of depression, paranoia, and respiratory issues.

A Common Drug Is Dangerous All The Same

These substances cause the most common drug addiction issues, ruining the lives of thousands each year.

If you or someone you know is dealing with addiction, consider your treatment options.

And if you’re the loved one of an addict, don’t forget that we offer support groups to help you learn how to help and love your addict through this tough time.

In the Media: Police Warn of Heroin Upswing

With heroin being more prolific than in the past, Bradenton saw at least 6 deaths and 35 potential overdoses in 2014. According to a recent Bradenton Police Department release, police responded to an average of 1 heroin overdose per week last year. This increase of heroin use can most likely be due to legislation, public awareness, and law enforcement cracking down on “pill mill” clinics.

For more information, click here to read the Bradenton Herald article about heroin use on the rise.

Pathways to Recovery is part of the First Step of Sarasota, Inc. family of treatment programs

Related Blog: Substance Abuse – The Cost To The Community


In The Media: K-2 Spice Dangers

Pathways to Recovery is part of the First Step of Sarasota, Inc. family of treatment programs. PJ Brooks of First Step Sarasota recently gave an interview about the dangers of the popular “K-2 Spice” drug. Though many first time users are under the impression that it is similar to marijuana, K-2 contains many dangerous chemicals, many of which have never been identified, and users can experience hallucinations, an increase in heart rate and body temperature, which can result in hospitalization and in some cases death.

For more information, click here to read the MySuncoast article and watch the clip.

Related Blog: What Are Designer Drugs?