46-year old Chris Fagan knows firsthand what it's like to be on the edge. A car crash in 2007 changed his life, “I sustained a head injury. I had memory problems and had to start over with reading and writing.”

After the crash Fagan also suffered chronic headaches, so his doctor prescribed him the pain killer Fentanyl. Fentanyl is an opioid; experts say can be up to 100 times more powerful than morphine and heroine.

“I basically trusted the doctors,” Fagan says, “I didn’t know I could get addicted to it.”

But Fagan did get addicted, and over the next seven years Fentanyl ruled his life. Administered by physicians in a slow-release patch, Fagan started eating it to get high faster. The drug started to take a toll, “over time I started becoming a very mean person. I lost my family.”

Fagan says he eventually overdosed, realizing he was an addict, “I would be dead today if I didn’t go and seek medical help myself.”

Fagan is not alone. Fentanyl is now a drug of choice on the street level. Commonly mixed with chemicals in a pill form, it is powerful and deadly.

"It's becoming a huge epidemic of people dying”, says Addictions Therapist Targol Ansari, “there are huge waiting lists and a lot of people fall into the cracks of the criminal justice system.”

Fagan says once he decided he wanted to get clean, he spent months on long waiting lists to try and get government funded help. When that didn’t happen, he decided to pay his own way and seek treatment at a private facility.

He’s been sober since June 2015. So motivated to help others, Fagan decided to open his own treatment facility in January. Life Changes Canada in Caledon Ontario is a 35-bed facility also offering medical detox. “I’m probably getting about 30 to 50 calls per day from people seeking help”, says Fagan. That demand already has him expanding, opening a second, larger, centre in Smiths Falls in June.