Fentanyl poisoning: what you need to know


What is fentanyl?

Doctors use the powerful synthetic opioid to treat patients with severe chronic pain or extreme pain after surgery.

It is a Schedule II controlled substance that is 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin.

Illegal fentanyl has now overtaken the illegal drug market, sold on the street because it is cheaper and more potent than many other drugs.

Pills designed to mimic prescription pills are now loaded with fentanyl and pose a serious threat to unsuspecting buyers because people can’t smell, taste or see it.

Fake prescription pills are almost indistinguishable from real ones. They are often referred to as “Blues”, “M30s”, and “Perc-30s”.

What are the effects of fentanyl?

Euphoria, drowsiness, nausea, confusion, sedation, constipation, breathing problems, unconsciousness.

What is a lethal dose of fentanyl?

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration considers 2 milligrams to be a lethal dose. It’s like a few grains of salt.

Where does illicit fentanyl come from?

It is mainly manufactured in foreign clandestine laboratories, mainly in China, Mexico and India, and smuggled into the United States through Mexican drug cartels, then distributed throughout the country and sold on the illegal market. drug. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, an increasing number of fentanyl-containing pills are being manufactured in the United States.

How to prevent overdoses?

Only take pills and other drugs obtained from pharmacies and prescribed for you, not a friend or someone else. It is not safe to consume someone else’s prescription drugs or anything purchased or ordered online or on the street.

What are fentanyl test strips?

Fentanyl test strips can identify the presence of fentanyl in unregulated drugs.

They can be used to test injectable drugs, powders and pills. But they don’t provide any information about the amount of fentanyl in a drug or detect the presence of another drug.

A test strip that does not show fentanyl in one pill does not mean that the other pills in a batch are also fentanyl free.

Anyone can get free fentanyl test strips and naloxone kits through Multnomah County Harm Reduction at multco.us/harmreduction.

What can parents do?

Discuss with teens the risk of drug addiction, the danger of buying drugs on the Internet, through social media, or from anyone who is not a licensed health care provider.

Look for behavioral changes, such as irregular eating or sleeping habits, loss of interest in usual activities, or signs of depression or anxiety.

If parents know their child is taking counterfeit pills or street drugs, they can carry multiple doses of naloxone, an opioid reversal medication.

What is naloxone?

It is a drug that can quickly reverse an opioid overdose when given in the right way.

It works quickly by binding to opioid receptors to block the effects of the drug.

But fentanyl is stronger than other opioid drugs and usually requires at least two doses of naloxone, experts say.

Naloxone can be given as a nasal spray or injected into the muscle, under the skin, or into the veins.

People receiving naloxone should be monitored for at least two hours after their last dose to make sure their breathing does not slow or stop.

Naloxone is available at pharmacies in Oregon without a prescription.

Families with loved ones struggling with opioid addiction should have naloxone nearby. Families should ask their loved one to bring naloxone and let their friends know where it is.

People should always call 911 immediately if someone has overdosed. Naloxone works to reverse opioid overdoses for only 30 to 90 minutes after taking the drug.

What are the signs of an overdose?

Check for small “identified” pupils; pale, bluish, cold and clammy skin; vomiting or foaming at the mouth; slow, shallow breathing; sluggish and sleepy behavior; or loss of consciousness.

What to do if you suspect someone has overdosed?

Dial 911 for immediate medical attention.

Sources: US Drug Enforcement Administration, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Oregon Poison Center, Families Against Fentanyl

–Maxine Bernstein

Email to [email protected]; 503-221-8212

Follow on Twitter @maxoregonian

Source link


Comments are closed.