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The Fentanyl Crisis in Colorado

Written on July 14, 2023
The Fentanyl Crisis in Colorado

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid narcotic between 50 and 100 times more potent than morphine, is largely responsible for an increasing number of opioid-related deaths across the country. When taken as prescribed, the pain medication is effective for the treatment of acute or opioid-resistant pain. However, the current fentanyl crisis is due to the highly addictive nature of this drug.

Furthermore, fentanyl is often manufactured and distributed illegally. Fentanyl which is made in labs and combined with other chemical substances like heroin or cocaine is most often associated with overdose fatalities. Ingesting a small amount of fentanyl frequently results in a life-threatening overdose. 

If you or someone close to you has been misusing fentanyl, seeking professional help is extremely important. Fortunately, there are many effective and accessible fentanyl addiction treatment options available in Colorado. At Flatirons Recovery, we offer a comprehensive, multi-staged program of fentanyl addiction treatment. Contact us today to learn more. 

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid painkiller with an extremely high potential for misuse and dependence. Like other opioid narcotics, fentanyl works by binding to opioid receptors within the brain and affecting the way the brain processes pain and regulates emotion. When a person uses fentanyl repeatedly their brain adapts to the presence of the drug. They build a physical tolerance over time, and they experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to cut back on use. 

The National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Fentanyl DrugFacts explains, “When prescribed by a doctor, fentanyl can be given as a shot, a patch that is put on a person’s skin, or as lozenges that are sucked like cough drops. The illegally used fentanyl most often associated with recent overdoses is made in labs. This synthetic fentanyl is sold illegally as a powder, dropped onto blotter paper, put in eye droppers and nasal sprays, or made into pills that look like other prescription opioids.”

Thus, the dangers of illegally manufactured fentanyl are a primary contributor to the fentanyl crisis.

Understanding the Dangers of Fentanyl 

There are many negative side effects associated with fentanyl use. Some of the more common side effects include:

  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation 
  • Respiratory depression 
  • Loss of consciousness 

Fentanyl is particularly dangerous for several reasons. First of all, drug dealers frequently add fentanyl to other illegal drugs to increase their potency and street value. Because of this, many people are unaware of the fact that they are ingesting fentanyl in the first place. 

Secondly, it is extremely easy to overdose on fentanyl because of its potency. When a person overdoses on fentanyl, respiratory depression causes breathing to slow or stop, leading to a loss of consciousness. If the overdose is not reversed, fatality is likely to occur. 

The U.S. Opioid Epidemic 

Over the past several years, rates of fentanyl misuse, dependence, and overdose skyrocketed throughout the U.S. The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics reports, “52.7% of all overdose deaths involve fentanyl. From March 2018 to February 2019, 47% of drug overdoses involved fentanyl. In 2020, there were a reported 42,700 fentanyl overdose deaths.”

20% of states in the country report at least a 98% increase in opioid overdose deaths annually. One of the states most significantly impacted is Colorado. As rates of fentanyl overdose in Colorado continue to rise, it becomes increasingly important for Colorado residents to have immediate access to effective fentanyl addiction treatment options. At Flatirons Recovery we acknowledge this need, and we are taking strides to help combat the statewide opioid crisis. 

Fentanyl Crisis in Colorado

Since 2017, fentanyl-related deaths in Colorado increased from 19% to 73% of all opioid-related deaths. The Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition published a study called Fentanyl in Colorado in 2022. The study suggests that the state has been severely impacted by increasing rates of fentanyl dependence and overdose, and had the 29th-highest rate of overdose deaths in 2020. 

Additionally, Colorado saw a 70% increase in fatal fentanyl overdoses from 2020 to 2021, with more than 900 deaths total last year, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. 

In addition to increasing access to effective addiction treatment programs like those offered by Flatirons Recovery, Colorado is taking measures to decrease the circulation of fentanyl statewide. On July 1, 2022, possession of any amount of fentanyl became a felony in the state of Colorado. 

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Options in Colorado 

At Flatirons Recovery, we offer a range of effective fentanyl addiction treatment programs in Colorado to address the fentanyl crisis. Because fentanyl addiction recovery is not a one-size-fits-all process, every treatment plan will look different. We pay close attention to the unique clinical needs of each client, crafting integrated plans of action that address physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing. 

The services we offer at our Colorado fentanyl addiction treatment center include:

  • The Recovery Ranch Program — Our inpatient fentanyl rehab in Colorado provides clients with 24/7 care in a comfortable, supportive environment. Clients participate in 6 hours of intensive therapeutic and holistic programming, followed by participation in a range of recovery-friendly activities. 
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment — We offer daytime and nighttime Intensive Outpatient treatment (IOP). Our IOP program consists of individual and group therapy, relapse prevention training, vocational training, and a wide range of other pertinent services. 
  • Day Treatment — Our Day Treatment program resembles a traditional Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). Therapeutic groups meet Monday through Friday from the morning until the afternoon. PHP is a step above IOP, and a step below inpatient rehab as far as program intensity and commitment level. 
  • Sober LivingSober living facilities can be an excellent accompaniment to holistic fentanyl rehab, both during and after treatment. Our Colorado sober living home is comfortable and structured, providing residents with the accountability they need to thrive in their newfound lives of recovery. 

Find Fentanyl Addiction Treatment in Colorado Today 

Addressing the fentanyl crisis won’t be easy. However, our treatment center is here to help those struggling with addiction. Finding effective fentanyl addiction treatment in Colorado might feel overwhelming, especially if you aren’t sure what step to take first.

At Flatirons Recovery, we take the guesswork out of receiving quality clinical care. Our dedicated team of licensed addiction specialists is standing by to help guide you or your loved one toward fentanyl addiction treatment. All you need to do is make initial contact. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping you begin your journey of healing as quickly as possible.