KENNEWICK, Wash.-- The Center for Disease Control reports more than 2 million Americans are reliant on opioids and the problem is beginning to affect the local Tri-Cities community.
"Fentanyl is probably the most dangerous opioid that is somewhat new to the area that has killed lots and lots of people," said Jeffrey Allgaier, M.D. and CEO of Ideal Option in Kennewick.
Allgaier said Fentanyl is cheap to make, fast acting, and can be 10 to 100 times stronger than morphine. The opiate drug provides users with a sense of euphoria that can soon lead to addiction or sudden death.
"The problem is the first time they feel great, the second time it's a little less, by the tenth time and twentieth time they're taking it in order to feel normal," said Allgaier.
Kennewick Police Department posted a photo to their Facebook page warning the public about the dangers of fentanyl use. Police said the synthetic drug can be used in many other street drugs and often looks like other prescription pills.
Police said they are working to keep the drugs out of the local community. Doctor Allgaier said keeping fentanyl off the streets is the best way to keep people from falling into its addictive hold.
Allgaier said the treatment typically involves counseling and medications. Ideal Option offers substance abuse services. A link to the Ideal Option website is here.