Fentanyl Overdoses

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Fentanyl- Synthetic opiate painkiller that is much stronger than morphine or heroin.

*According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Fentanyl is 30-50 times more potent than heroin, 80-100 times more potent than morphine.*

A Maine resident thought he was “doing a safe dose of heroin”, much like the amount he abused daily, but this time was different…the drug had knocked him to his knees. Luckily, the man’s friend was there to save his life, treating him with Naloxone (an emergency antidote). Shortly thereafter, he checked himself into a rehab. The man had his suspicion, but once the toxicology reports came back, there was no doubt- the heroin was laced with Fentanyl.

U.S. officials warn, some drug dealers are lacing heroin with a dangerous variation of the anaesthetic drug. Within the last two years, according to drug agents, Mexican cartels have ramped up production of a variant called, Acetyl Fentanyl, in clandestine labs (They have been smuggling this version into the U.S.). The DEA says Acetyl Fentanyl is slightly less potent than Fentanyl, but “it is still quite powerful.” On the street, Acetyl Fentanyl’s price is slightly higher than heroin; However, two milligrams or less (the size of a few grains of salt), can kill.

Know the Facts:

•Only a few states added Acetyl Fentanyl to their list of banned substances, whereas the DEA added it to the federal list, just this year.

• 700 Fentanyl related deaths were reported, nationwide, from late 2013 – late 2014.

• Many states, as well as Canadian provinces, are reporting a sudden wildfire of overdoses

• Maine’s death toll jumped from 7 to 43, just one short year later

Maine Attorney General: “In July alone, we suspect that approximately one death a day in Maine, was due to a drug overdose of some sort.”

– Jessica Osborn

Resources: http://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/directors-page/message so director/2006/06/fentanyl-use-in-combination-s
treet-drugs-leading-to-death-in-some-cases

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