Fentanyl Overdose Deaths – The Growing Epidemic

Fentanyl, 50 times more potent than heroin, has become the No. 1 cause of opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States. Over one hundred thousand fentanyl overdose deaths have been reported in the past twelve months.

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Drug Test For Fentanyl – Testing Locations Throughout The United States

Fentanyl has taken over America’s drug market. In this article we will answer several questions about fentanyl including:

What is Fentanyl?

The drug is so potent that the equivalent of a few grains of table salt can lead to overdose or death. It was developed as a powerful painkiller and surgery anesthetic. The side effect of nausea is minimal. The drug is 100 times more potent than morphine.

Fentanyl is a man-made or synthetic opioid. Originally it was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients (pharmaceutical skin patch). Especially after surgery, prescription fentanyl is typically used to treat patients with severe pain. It is often used for patients who have chronic pain and physically tolerant to other opioids.
In the past five years, fentanyl has become a drug of harm, overdose, and death. It is increasingly being sold illegally and mixed with other drugs such as heroin or cocaine to increase the euphoric effects.

On the streets, fentanyl is known by such names as China White, Dance Fever, Goodfella, Fenty, China Girl, and Jackpot. When it is not legally prescribed, the drug is called “street fentanyl.” Fentanyl is taken by injection, snorting, or swallowing, often laced in with other drugs.

The effects of fentanyl include an intense feeling of euphoria plus reduced blood pressure, slowed respiration, nausea, fainting seizures, and death. Other effects might include pain relief, confusion, drowsiness, and dizziness.

Fentanyl with Methamphetamine and Cocaine

Many fatal methamphetamine or cocaine overdoses are found to be caused by the co-involvement of illicitly manufactured fentanyl. Dealers and/or users are mixing fentanyl with other drugs, and this is causing many fentanyl overdose deaths in the United States.

Fentanyl and Fake Prescription Pills

The manufacturer of fake prescription pills laced with fentanyl is a new problem on the horizon. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is finding deadly fake pills at record rates. These fake prescription pills are becoming widely available and often sold on e-commerce platforms and social media. Pills are made to look like various opioids including hydrocodone (Vicodin) as well as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet). It is important to be aware that pills purchased outside of a licensed pharmacy are illegal, dangerous, and potentially lethal.

Immediate Treatment for a Fentanyl Overdose

Heroin laced with fentanyl is widespread. Individuals addicted to heroin are becoming aware of this. Public officials are urging heroin users to not inject alone and carry the medication called naloxone to treat overdoses. Law enforcement, first responders, and emergency medical technicians are increasingly carrying naloxone to treat individuals that have overdosed saving many lives. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), naloxone is a medication which can rapidly reverse an opioid or fentanyl overdose. Medical intervention is critical as soon as possible after administering/receiving naloxone.

If you are with someone who is suffering from a suspected fentanyl overdose, call 911 immediately. The person needs medical care and specific medicine to reverse the overdose. If you have naloxone, administer it after calling 911.

Fentanyl Coming from China and Mexico

Starting in China fentanyl flowed to over 25 countries in the world and to states across the USA. DEA officials have reported that rogue chemical companies in China have operated openly and outside the reach of U.S. authorities. Sales of fentanyl were conducted via websites in 35 languages. The aggressive marketing and widespread distribution explains America’s skyrocketing death toll from a fentanyl overdose. Users have purchased direct from China laboratories with delivery through FedEx, UPS and a more attractive option – the US Mail.

With easy access to fentanyl from China and now recently with open borders, Mexican Cartels are now flooding the Unites States with this dangerous drug. Mexico has a high production of increased quantities of fentanyl and illicit fentanyl-containing tablets. The federal Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking finds that Mexico is now a “dominant source” of the U.S.’s fentanyl supply and synthetic opioids rapidly saturating drug markets.

Bulk pure fentanyl from China is often obtained by the Mexican cartels and it is often cut with heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. This makes these drugs extremely dangerous. Users of heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine are often unaware they are purchasing and using fentanyl. Deaths from an accidental fentanyl overdose continue to grow. The cheap fentanyl from Chinese laboratories goes a long way and becomes very profitable.

Fentanyl flows through Mexican cartels heading north on well-established drug trafficking routes. Much of the dangerous drug moves through the San Diego border into suburban America and big cities like New York, Chicago, and Orlando.

Fentanyl and Workplace Drug Testing

Workplace safety is critical for employers. Team members that might be using Fentanyl either knowingly or unknowingly can cause problems in the workplace. These problems can include theft, accidents, workers comp claims, turnover and lowered productivity. Standard 5-panel and 10-panel drug testing does not include drug testing for Fentanyl. Employers may want to consider adding Fentanyl to their drug testing panel. You can contact your drug testing vender for this or contact our drug testing specialists at National Drug Screening. Call 866-843-4545 or use our Contact Form.

Regular drug testing including Fentanyl testing can play a crucial role in ensuring a safe business/work environment. By implementing drug testing policies, employers can create a workplace that is free from the risks associated with drug use. Drug testing can help identify employees who may be under the influence of drugs, reducing the likelihood of accidents and injuries on the job.

In addition, drug testing can also help deter drug use among employees, as the fear of being caught can act as a deterrent. This can lead to a more productive workforce and a safer work environment overall. Employers can also benefit from reduced absenteeism, lower healthcare costs, and improved employee morale by implementing regular drug testing programs.

Overall, regular drug testing can provide peace of mind for employers, knowing that they are taking proactive steps to create a safe and drug-free environment. By prioritizing drug testing, businesses and families can promote safety, productivity, and well-being for all individuals involved. Fentanyl is not included in current standard workplace drug testing panels so must be specifically requested.

For individuals looking for Fentanyl drug testing there are several options available:

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