The United States is seeing an epidemic of fatal Fentanyl drug overdose. Teens are at high risk due to buying fake prescription drugs and heroin from dealers while many adults purchase the pharmaceutical grade drug. Teen addiction treatment for prescription pain medication, anxiety medication, and heroin must be made a priority to save these young lives.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a schedule 2 opioid used to treat severe chronic pain. It is addictive and can be fatal even in small doses. This drug is 30-50 times stronger than heroin. It is also 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl has caused more than 700 deaths in the United States from 2013-2018.
How Are Teens Getting Fentanyl?
Aside from stealing the drug out of medicine cabinets, Fentanyl is sometimes mixed into heroin batches. Some dealers will sell the drug as heroin. Teens who buy street drugs do not know what is in the drugs they are taking. This is dangerous and can cause death or serious medical conditions. Anthony Hampton from Canada found out the hard way. He called his dealer to buy pot. When the dealer said he was out of marijuana, he offered Anthony a harder drug instead. Anthony tried the drug, and it nearly killed him.
Fentanyl Epidemic in the United States
Fentanyl has become the chosen drug to be manufactured in Mexico by the drug cartels. Trafficking of the drug into the United States has increased forcing the DEA to issue an alert in 2015. The DEA stated, “We have lost too many Americans to drug overdoses and we strongly encourage parents, caregivers, teachers, local law enforcement and mentors to firmly and passionately educate others about the dangers of drug abuse, and to seek immediate help and treatment for those addicted to drugs.”
Teen addiction treatment must be stressed in the school systems and supported in the family unit. Educating the youth of the dangers of Fentanyl may save lives.
DEA Issues Nationwide Alert on Fentanyl as Threat to Health and Public Safety
- New Hampshire State Laboratory recently reported four fentanyl overdose deaths within a two-month period.
- New Jersey saw a huge spike in fentanyl deaths in 2014, reporting as many as 80 in the first six months of the fiscal year.
- Rhode Island and Pennsylvania have also seen huge increases since 2013. In a 15-month period, about 200 deaths were reported in Pennsylvania related to fentanyl.
- In the St. Louis area, based on information provided by medical examiners over a 10-year period, fentanyl was the only drug attributed as a primary death factor in 44 percent of fentanyl-related overdose cases. The other 56 percent involved fentanyl and other substances such as alcohol, pharmaceuticals, cocaine or heroin.
- In June 2014, DEA New York dismantled a heroin and fentanyl network and arrested the two heads of the organization. These individuals were linked to at least three overdose deaths from heroin and fentanyl they sold.
Quoted from the DEA website’s alert on March 18
Since the DEA’s alert, Fentanyl use has increased as has related overdose deaths. Maryland has seen an 83% increase of Fentanyl overdose deaths during 2018. During May of this year, Cuyahoga County, Ohio has seen 45 deaths due to Fentanyl. This is the same drug that the singer Prince overdosed on earlier this year.
Combating Teen Overdose in Schools
Research has shown that teens are more likely to use a prescription pain killer before switching to heroin. But with fake prescription pain and anxiety drugs laced with Fentanyl coming into the United States, teens are at a higher risk for overdose.
The Clinton Foundation and Adapt Pharma joined forces to make two doses of the nasal spray Naloxone available to all schools in the United States. Naloxone nasal spray revives students who have overdosed on opioids like Fentanyl. This spray has been in use among first responders since last November. The kits are free of charge to schools.
Teen Addiction Treatment for Fentanyl
Fentanyl is a dangerous drug. If you know a teen at risk for prescription pain medicine or heroin abuse, contact help right away. Heroin and fake prescription medications are being laced with Fentanyl. One dose can be fatal. Don’t hesitate to ask for help to get teen addiction treatment. If you need help to talk to the teen, contact AION Recovery immediately at 888-811-2879.