LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As National Addiction Treatment week approaches, 8 News Now looked at the severity of one of the biggest drugs impacting the Las Vegas valley, Fentanyl.

Jonathan Sprecher is the director of nursing at Desert Hope a drug and alcohol treatment facility in Las Vegas.

He told 8 News Now the facility helps those struggling with addiction, and who are ready to make a change.

“Fentanyl is probably the biggest impact of any drug in the valley,” Sprecher said. “You don’t go to rehab for three days and come out and you are better. The brain chemistry barely gets sorted in 90 days.”

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is made in a lab.
According to the rehab facility, it’s used as a cheap filler or added to other illicit drugs and counterfeit pills. It has also played a significant role in the country’s opioid overdose epidemic.

According to Desert Hope’s website, Fentanyl is mainly used for severe pain and sold as patches or injections under many of the following brand names:

  • Duragesic
  • Sublimaze
  • Subsys
  • Actiq
  • Fentora

Fentanyl is also known by other names on the street including Apache, China Town, China Girl, Tango and Cash, Dance Fever, GoodFellas, Murder 8, and Jackpot.

“I’m like most parents and want to know desperately why someone would want to do this,” Sprecher told 8 News Now.

Last week, the Southern Nevada Health District alerted the public of a rise in fentanyl deaths in Clark County.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reported six suspected drug-related overdoses in 36 hours. In 2021, police reported 225 fentanyl deaths, and 191 in 2020.

“It’s become the most common drug to mix with other medications because it’s so inexpensive and it gives a person a high,” added Sprecher.

Resources are available for those interested in seeking help with addiction and are listed below.

Additionally, SNHD’s main public health center offers free naloxone and fentanyl test strips at its pharmacy located at 280 S. Decatur Blvd. Other naloxone access points can be found at the Nevada State Overdose Reversal Medication Finder. Fentanyl test strip distribution locations can be found at Nevada State Fentanyl Test Strip Distribution Sites.