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Deadly Consequences: The Dangers of Exposure to Fentanyl

Deadly Consequences: The Dangers of Exposure to Fentanyl - Bio-One of Poway

Fentanyl is a powerful and lethal synthetic opioid that is responsible for a significant proportion of drug-related deaths every year. It is often used to create counterfeit prescription painkillers and is 50-100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is so potent that even a small amount of exposure can be life-threatening, and many people are unaware of the risks associated with this drug. In this blog post, we will explore the dangers of exposure to fentanyl, including how it can affect your health and the steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.

fentanyl blue pill reference
Image by DEA

What is Fentanyl and How Does It Work?

Firstly, it is essential to understand what fentanyl is and how it works. As mentioned earlier, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is primarily used for treating severe pain, such as cancer pain, but it is also used for recreational purposes. Fentanyl works by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain, producing pleasurable sensations of pain relief and euphoria. Because of its potency, even a small amount of fentanyl can cause death by respiratory depression, which is when breathing slows down or stops entirely. In addition, fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs, such as heroin, which can increase the risk of overdose.

What Are the Routes of Exposure to Fentanyl?

Exposure can occur through various means, such as inhalation, skin contact, or ingestion. Inhalation is the most common way of exposure, such as when someone inhales a fentanyl-contaminated powder or smoke. Fentanyl can also be absorbed through the skin, particularly through mucous membranes like the nose or mouth.

lethal dose of fentanyl reference
A lethal dose of fentanyl - Image by DEA

Ingesting something that has touched fentanyl, such as food or drink, can also cause exposure. The lethal dose of fentanyl is much smaller than that of other opioids, and as such, accidental exposure to small amounts can cause serious harm.

Symptoms of Exposure to Fentanyl

The symptoms of fentanyl exposure can vary depending on the method of exposure, the dose, and the individual's metabolism. These may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shallow breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Unconsciousness
ambulance reference emergency

If you suspect that you or someone else has been exposed to fentanyl, seek immediate medical attention!

How Can You Protect Yourself from Fentanyl Exposure?

There are several ways to protect yourself from fentanyl exposure:

  1. Avoid contact with unknown substances or powders.
  2. Wear protective gear, such as gloves and a mask, when handling potential fentanyl-containing materials.
  3. Wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with potentially contaminated surfaces.
  4. If you are using drugs, only use them from a trusted source and be cautious of any changes in appearance or effects.
  5. Educate yourself and others about the dangers of fentanyl and how to avoid exposure.
  6. Call a professional biohazard cleanup company.

The Importance of Naloxone in Events of Exposure to Fentanyl

Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. It works by binding to the same receptors in the brain as opioids, blocking their effects and potentially saving a person's life.

narcan naloxone spray reference
Photo by NEXT Distro on Unsplash

If you or someone else has been exposed to fentanyl and is experiencing symptoms of overdose, naloxone should be administered immediately and emergency medical services should be contacted. However, it is important to note that naloxone may not always reverse the effects of fentanyl exposure. It is crucial to seek medical attention even after administering naloxone.

Bio-One of Poway is Ready to Help

To protect yourself and your loved ones from fentanyl exposure, it is crucial to understand the risks and take precautions. If you suspect that you have been exposed to fentanyl, seek medical attention immediately. Avoid handling unknown powders or substances and be cautious of anything that may have been contaminated. If you must handle these substances, wear gloves, respirators, and other protective gear. Avoid snorting or smoking unknown substances or sharing needles or other equipment.

In the event of fentanyl exposure or contamination, Bio-One of Poway is here to help. Our trained professionals have experience in handling biohazard cleanup, specifically in cases involving fentanyl and other dangerous substances. We prioritize safety and use specialized equipment and techniques to effectively decontaminate affected areas. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance.