Fentanyl overdoses rise in Lafayette; Local professionals explain what the reason could be

Lafayette Parish

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Jefferson Street was a hot bed for Lafayette Police over the weekend. Three people were found unresponsive due to Fentanyl overdoses.

Experts say the impact of Fentanyl misuse can be deadly.

Licensed professional counselor, addiction counselor Brett Thibodeaux of Woodlake Addiction Recovery Center says Fentanyl users need less to get more of an effect.

“More often than not, it’s cut in things. It’s not someone going out looking for Fentanyl, it’s that they’re looking for the heroin they’ve been getting. They’re looking for the pressed Xanax they’ve been buying and it inadvertently has Fentanyl in it,” Thibodeaux stated.

Thibodeaux says at least two Fentanyl overdose related deaths have come through their treatment centers. 

That’s another concern.

“You can always kind of tell when you hear that one person has died, who we knew was an opioid user, then normally there’s a bad batch around and you are about to hear about more,” Thibodeaux added.

According to the national institute on drug addiction, Fentanyl is a power synthetic opioid similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent.

“You take heroin, which is normally the roll of the dice, with Fentanyl it’s Russian Roulette. If you don’t know how much is in it, then you don’t know what you’re getting. You use the normal amount you use and that might be the last time you ever use because it might cause that accidental overdose,” Thibodeaux explained.

Emergency medicine physician at Our Lady of Lourdes Dr. Aaron Tiffee, says Fentanyl is generally prescribed by medical professionals to treat severe pain. 

Unfortunately, Fentanyl can be abused and misused.

“It suppresses the respirator centers of the brain and it just doesn’t tell your lungs to function, then you stop breathing. That’s generally what kills people,” Dr. Tiffee added.

Plus, Dr. Tiffee says repeated overdoes can lead to brain damage.

“You have these micro-strokes in your brain just from all of these episodes of not breathing and not having oxygen to your brain,” Dr. Tiffee stated.      

For help with addiction regardless of medical costs, call Woodlake Addiction Recovery Center 225-924-1910. 

Woodlake professionals say assistance with medical costs maybe available.

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