(COLORADO SPRINGS) — As people navigate the busy holiday season, addiction may make this time of year even more challenging for some.
“The holidays bring a lot of stress about and I think it’s definitely one of the major triggers,” said Chelsea Reddel, an addiction and wellness coach for Face It Together.
Now, there’s a new concern as fentanyl addiction grows.
“We are having clients come in and their drug of choice is fentanyl,” said Jessica Blout, clinical director and therapist at Recovery Unlimited in Colorado Springs. “And we’re having clients doing as many as 70 to 90 pills a day.”
A lot of times, people don’t even know they’re taking fentanyl.
“This industry is predacious,” said Mayor John Suthers of Colorado Springs. “They’re trying to get people hooked and they’re lacing all kinds of drugs with fentanyl.”
Due to the increase and accessibility of fentanyl, recovery centers are equipping themselves with tougher protection.
“This is a new product that we recently started using called ZIMHI. It’s a little stronger – 5 milligrams – and it’s intermuscular. It can be injected through somebody’s jeans so if somebody’s having an overdose, it will automatically pull them out of an overdose,” Blount said.
It is not as readily available as Narcan, but anyone can get it with a prescription.
“It’s really easy to get,” Blount said. “You don’t even have to be a standing patient with us.”
Before Narcan or ZIMHI is even needed, experts recommended having conversations with those around you.
“Drug taking across the board is very, very dangerous and if [parents] sense that there’s a problem, get [children] into treatment as quickly as possible,” Suthers said.
For those battling addiction, experts say the best thing they can do is get support.
“The biggest thing is kind of being transparent,” Reddell said. “And you don’t have to give all the intimate details of what you’re going through but definitely being transparent about those goals and boundaries that you have.”