Notes from Dr. Lynn Fox: “With the prevalence of fentanyl overdoses and youth deaths, parents, educators, and professionals need to be concerned about how to spot the warning signs of opioid use and what can be done to intervene.” One resource is Omni Youth Programs. They are providing a 3-part series February-April that discusses physical, emotional and behavioral signs that a child maybe using opioids. Early ID & Prevention saves lives.
According to DEA.GOV FENTANYL is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.
Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients. Because of its powerful opioid properties, Fentanyl is illegally used profit. Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency or disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths
COMMON STREET NAMES: Apache, China Girl, China Town, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfellas. Primary sources of trafficking fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances are Mexico and China.
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE: Clandestinely produced fentanyl is encountered either as a powder or in counterfeit tablets. Illicitly produced fentanyl is sold alone or in combination with heroin and other substances; also identified in counterfeit pills (Elks Lodge 1108 DAP - Booster February 2022).
HOW IT IS USED: Fentanyl can be injected, snorted/sniffed, smoked, taken orally by pill or tablet, and spiked onto blotter paper or removing gel from Fentanyl patches to inject or ingest.
OPIOID POISONING OR OVERDOSE: Drugs may contain deadly levels of fentanyl, and you wouldn’t be able to see, taste, or smell it. It is very difficult to tell if drugs have been laced with fentanyl.
Overdose may result in stupor, pinpoint pupils, cold clammy skin, cyanosis, coma, and respiratory arrest leading to death. Drugs that cause similar effects are morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone, and heroin.
Overdose deaths on the rise: According to the NY Times, drug overdoses now kill more than 100,000 Americans a year — more than vehicle crashes and gun deaths combined. In 2021 opioid drug overdoses were reported at 78,056, more deaths that occurred in Vietnam War.
DO NOT TOUCH FENTANYL or ANYTHING SUSPECTED OF CONTAINING FENTANYL - CALL 911
The amount of fentanyl the size of a grain of salt can be very hazardous. First Responders must be very careful about self-poisoning by accidentally touching or inhaling. They carry shots for themselves.
“In 2021, 650 people died of drug overdoses in San Francisco, according to the preliminary accidental drug overdose death reports from the city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner... About 73% of the 650 deaths in 2021 involved fentanyl, but rarely as the only drug and more commonly as part of a combination of drugs.”