Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that brings about many undesirable side effects when it is abused, which include sedation, drowsiness, confusion, nausea, pupillary constriction, and slowed breathing. These effects are similar to those experienced when using heroin, although the potency of fentanyl is approximately 50 times stronger than heroin. The threat of fentanyl is so real that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released a document of safety recommendations for first responders, so they know what to do in the presence of fentanyl and how to avoid exposure to the drug. Law enforcement officers and first responders are now carrying naloxone, which is an opioid antagonist and will temporarily block opioid receptors, and can reverse the fatal effects of fentanyl. Drug and alcohol addiction affects people from all over the state of South Dakota and problems with fentanyl are a dangerous epidemic across the United States. To properly treat opiate addiction, both detox and therapy should be considered options. Medical detox is the most effective way for opiate addicts to safely withdraw from opiates such as fentanyl. Across the United States, there have been recent increases in prescription opioids being written, which has also led to an increase in overdose deaths. Drug rehab centers within SD can help opiate users through any type of difficult addiction. Medical detox and therapy will address both the physical and psychological needs of an addict.

Fentanyl Information, Statistics, and Tips to Stay Safe

Tips to Combat Fentanyl Abuse

  • Never stop taking medication without consulting a doctor.
  • Consider joining a support group to help you with your addiction.
  • Look for medical detox programs specialized in opioid detox.
  • If you have a loved one or an employee who you know is abusing opioids, keep naloxone handy.
  • Be aware of signs of overdose. If you see one of your friends blacking out, or showing other severe side effects, get help immediately.

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Fentanyl is a dangerous drug responsible for countless overdose deaths in the nation and has contributed to many in the state. Much of the fentanyl causing these deaths is non-pharmaceutical, which means it is made illegally. This type of fentanyl is made in other countries and smuggled into the United States. Unfortunately, the drug is cut into illicit street drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. Also, it is common for illegal fentanyl to be made to look like illicit pain medication. Drugs user are potentially using lethal doses of fentanyl. Misusing any type of opioid does lead to drug dependence and addiction. Fentanyl detox and rehab treatments in South Dakota provide practical solutions to help addicts and their families. When searching for treatment, many families have an assessment done. The assessment process does help determine if there is an addiction and what the extent of the drug problem is. Also, an evaluation is an excellent way of narrowing down treatment options.

The first treatment approach is withdrawal management, which usually involves the use of medication when treating opioid addiction. The medication is used to manage withdrawal symptoms and stabilize a patient before counseling. The standard withdrawal management approaches for opioid addiction are medication-assisted treatment and or an opioid treatment program. Opioid withdrawal refers to a wide range of symptoms that occur after stopping the use of opioid drugs. Typically, these withdrawal symptoms can last about ten days, but most often between three to five days. However, medication alone does not sustain recovery or sobriety. Following withdrawal management, a drug user needs to attend some form of counseling or therapy. There is a broad treatment setting within the state. Some of the treatment options include partial hospitalization, inpatient hospital treatment, residential or intensive outpatient treatment. Effective treatment not only treats the drug use but offers necessary therapy for the underlying issues. Opioid addiction becomes a severe problem when the right help is not gotten.

Fentanyl Addiction and Opioid Abuse Prevention in South Dakota

In 2012 the South Dakota State Board of Pharmacy implemented the prescription drug monitoring program. The PDMP was designed to reduce drug diversion, over-prescribing, and prescription drug use. Prescribers and pharmacists can use patient information to determine if there is a substance use problem and provide proper help. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the opioid prescribing rate in South Dakota in 2018 was 42.6 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons. During that same time, the national rate was 51.4 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons. Many prescription drug abuse problems involve pain medication. Prevention efforts are vital, such as prescription monitoring programs, education, drug take-back programs, and awareness campaigns. Most young prescription drug users began misusing medication they found at home, which is why drug take-back programs are essential to remove unused prescription drugs from family homes.

In South Dakota, fentanyl is present and has caused a lot of damage. In August 2019, a man from California appeared in court for charges of money laundering and conspiring to distribute over 100 grams of a fentanyl analog, which means he could be sent to jail for 10 years to life. Another man in Sioux Falls was sentenced in December 2019, because he knowingly distributed fentanyl, which resulted in the bodily injury of a victim who overdosed on the fentanyl that was sold to him. This man was sentenced to 240 months of imprisonment for each count. These cases show us that fentanyl is a problem in South Dakota and that it must be addressed properly, which includes access to treatment programs and services for fentanyl addiction.

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Marcel Gemme, DATS

Marcel Gemme, DATS


on June 27, 2022

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people. He is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist graduate with Honours of Stratford Career Institute. Marcel has also received a certificate from Harvard for completing a course entitled The Opioid Crisis in America and a certificate from The University of Adelaide for completing a course entitled AddictionX: Managing Addiction: A Framework for Succesful Treatment.