Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is extremely potent, more specifically approximately 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an analgesic, but mostly, it is illegally sold and mixed with other substances, such as cocaine or heroin. It can be snorted through the nose, injected, or taken orally, and an overdose can happen quite easily. The effects of a fentanyl overdose can range from clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, and respiratory depression. In the case of an overdose, Naloxone can be administered by medical personnel so as to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The state of Alaska has not been immune to the on-going problems connected to opioids, especially fentanyl. Illegal non-pharmaceutical grade fentanyl is responsible for countless overdose deaths every year. The drug is made illegally in other countries and smuggled into the United States. Fentanyl is then mixed with illegal prescription pain medication and illicit street drugs, resulting in an increased number of overdose deaths. Every state has struggled with providing enough effective treatment and preventative solutions to help those struggling with opioid addiction. Fentanyl detox and rehab treatments in Alaska offer practical solutions to drug users and support for families. Whether you are addicted to fentanyl or other opiates or are struggling with a dependency, there are options available. Typically the first step is an assessment, which helps determine the extent of the addiction and appropriate treatment.
Treatment for fentanyl addiction or opiate abuse can occur in several different places. Some of the rehabilitation options in Alaska may include outpatient, intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization, residential addiction treatment, and or hospital inpatient. The first treatment step for most opiate users is withdrawal management, which refers to using medication to control the withdrawal. Common medication includes buprenorphine, suboxone, methadone, and naltrexone. These medications are administered within a medication-assisted treatment program, medical detox, or an opioid treatment program. Opioid withdrawal refers to a wide range of symptoms, which occur when someone stops using opiates. Withdrawal can last up to 10 days, but it is most often between three to five days. Medication treatment is not a cure and does not sustain sobriety without behavioral therapy or some form of counseling. Ideally, any recovering drug user should become drug-free and not have to rely on medication to maintain long-lasting sobriety.
Fentanyl and Opioid Addiction Prevention in Alaska
Like many other states, Alaska has a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which has aided in prescription drug diversion and overprescribing. The Alaska Board of Pharmacy created a secure online database to be used across the state. Practitioners have access to patient’s information before they prescribe or dispense drugs. The purpose of this is to look for duplicate prescribing, possible misuse, drug interactions, and any potential concerns. The state of Alaska has made progress in its efforts to curb the opioid epidemic. Per the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, there has been a 36% reduction in the number of overdose deaths. The number of Medicare Part D patients who receive opioid prescriptions has decreased annually. In 2018 the current opioid prescribing rate was 44.9 per 100 persons, according to the CDC, which is lower than the national average of 51.4.
Alaska Fentanyl-Related Statistics
Alaska has definitely suffered from fentanyl and the consequences of its abuse. The number of overdose deaths related to fentanyl and its analogs are alarming. In 2016, there were 8 deaths that involved the drug, and in 2017, that number more than quadrupled, with 37 overdose deaths involving fentanyl, according to the Alaska State Troopers report. And, during that year, 24 235 potential lethal doses of fentanyl were seized in Alaska. The sale and abuse of fentanyl is a huge problem in the state and must be addressed and taken care of quickly.
Below, you will find a list of the medical detoxification services available for Fentanyl addiction in Alaska. These treatments are medically supervised, you should however confirm this with the facility. The list may be incomplete, so if you have a hard time finding the proper medical detox center for you or a loved one, call one of our treatment specialists at 1-800-304-2219.