How Fentanyl Affects Your Body and Your Brain

Author: Floyd Else, MA, LMHC (ret.), NCC, MAC

Posted on May 29, 2020


August 16, 2018, Seattle Times: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 7,200 drug overdose deaths in 2017, Up more than 6,000 over the previous 12-month period.  The increase driven by a continued surge in deaths involving synthetic opioids, a category that includes fentanyl.   Deaths from cocaine also shot up significantly, putting cocaine on par with drugs like heroin.  Deaths involving painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone appear to have flattened out, suggesting that opiate mortality may be that or near its peak.

Fentanyl, in low doses, has legal uses as a painkiller, but there is a risk of dependency, and addiction.  Withdrawal symptoms usually start within 12 hours of the last dose of fentanyl and may last one week or more.

"Some patients and healthcare providers may not be fully aware of the dangers of this very strong narcotic.  All of society, including families, schools, the medical community, law enforcement, and government officials should be aware of the potentially lethal outcomes of improper medical and illicit fentanyl use."


[November 2018 release:] Driven largely by deaths from drug overdoses and suicide, life expectancy in the United States dropped during the period from 2016 to 2017, according to the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the nation's overall health, and these sobering statistics are a wake-up call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable."

Drug overdoses claimed the lives of 70,237 people in United States in 2017, according to the official tally released today by the CDC. Most of these deaths were unintentional.

Rates of drug overdose continued to increase. In 2017, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths was 9.6% higher than the rate in 2016,

The rate of drug overdose deaths in 2017 was 3.6 times higher than the rate in 1999. Rates increased for both men…and women. In 2017, the highest rates of drug overdose deaths occurred among adults aged 25 to 54 years.

More Information:

Everything you need to know about fentanyl


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