Louisiana, like many other states in the United States, has seen an increase in fentanyl-related overdose deaths in recent years. That is the light way to put it. Louisiana has seen a 434% increase in opioid-related deaths in a tracked statistical period from 2014 to 2021. Data was provided by the Louisiana Department of Health.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and it has been responsible for a significant portion of opioid overdose deaths in the state.
According to the Louisiana Department of Health, the number of fentanyl-related overdose deaths in the state increased from 259 in 2014 to 228 in 2018. In 2019, 588 people died in the state from overdoses, with 2020 showing that 982 people died in Louisiana from overdoses. In 2021, the terrifying trend of exponential deaths continued, with 1,384 deaths in Louisiana attributed to opioid overdoses.
Fentanyl and Overdoses
The danger of fentanyl is that it is relatively easy to experience an overdose due to the potency of the drug. Fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, which can make it even more dangerous as it increases the risk of overdose. The mixing of these drugs is often done by drug dealers and not knowing the exact composition of the drug can lead to an overdose. Fentanyl is also available in various forms, including pills, powder, and spray, and it can be ingested, inhaled, or injected. All these forms can lead to an overdose if taken improperly.
If someone is experiencing an opioid overdose, it is important to seek medical attention immediately as time is critical. Naloxone, a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose, should be administered as soon as possible.
Louisiana’s Response to Opioid Overdoses
In response to this issue, the state of Louisiana has implemented several measures to address the opioid epidemic, including increasing access to naloxone, a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose; expanding access to treatment and recovery services; and increasing public awareness and education about the dangers of opioids.
It’s important to note that the opioid problem is a complex issue and it requires a comprehensive approach that includes law enforcement, public health, and community-based interventions to effectively address it.
Interventions for Fentanyl Abuse & Addiction
Fentanyl can be considered the most potent opioid drug that is abused. The potency of the drug and problems caused by mishandling and illegal distribution of the substance have made it extremely dangerous in the realm of commonly abused substances in the USA. Safe use of fentanyl requires precise dosages monitored by a medical professional in a hospital or clinical setting. If you know someone that is abusing fentanyl, time is of the essence to take measures to help them before they overdose unintentionally.
An intervention is a process in which a person’s loved ones, friends, and/or professional interventionists come together to express their concerns about the person’s behavior and to encourage them to seek help for their addiction. Staging an intervention for someone who is abusing fentanyl can be a complex and emotional process, and it’s important to plan it carefully to ensure that it is effective.