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fentanyl

The headline above is about two separate events – a SWAT raid on a drug house and a kids’ birthday sleepover – not a single event. But it easily could have been. It illustrates how we’re seeing news reports almost every day of the week about injuries and deaths from accidental and…

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Just how dangerous is fentanyl? The synthetic opioid painkiller that’s usually mixed into heroin is turning up almost everywhere. Fentanyl is so dangerous that the Drug Enforcement Agency has issued a formal warning to law enforcement and paramedic first responders to be super-careful when…

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The DEA warning guide

The DEA Warning Guide is a comprehensive and highly-technical 19-page report that also includes the history and development of fentanyl and its derivatives such as carfentanil – often called “elephant tranquilizer” in the media and its role in today’s opioid epidemic.

The guide cautions first responders to get educated about fentanyl and its many derivatives, and trained to recognize the drug when they see it. The DEA says that to be properly protected from any contact with the drug, first responders should at least use the basics – gloves, dust masks, safety glasses and disposable paper suits and shoe covers.

Entering a lab or “pill-milling” location is another story altogether, and requires full HAZMAT protective gear – and immediate notifications to the building’s owners and occupants.

The agency also says that first responders should always have a supply of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone with them. Fentanyl can bring on an overdose so quickly and unexpectedly that naloxone – and several doses of it – should be close at hand.

The DEA has also released Fentanyl Roll Call, a video for all law enforcement and first responders nationwide, about the deadly consequences of improperly handling fentanyl.

Not news to the feds

The fentanyl problem is not so new to the DEA. Following a surge in its use in 2013, the DEA formed a Heroin-Fentanyl Task Force (HFTF) in 2014 to address what was becoming a serious national health problem.

The HFTF involves at least six government agencies, all working together to facilitate what is called “a whole of government approach” to the fentanyl and synthetic opioid epidemic in the United States.

The HFTF currently includes people from the DEA, Homeland Security (HIS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the FBI, the IRS and even the Post Office Inspection Service – this last agency because most synthetic opioids have been arriving in North America from China by mail.

China agrees to crack down on fentanyl

During the 1st quarter of 2017, the DEA ID’d 230 fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances in seized drugs. Fentanyl was found in combination with heroin in 61 percent of the samples, as well as with U-47700, alprazolam, ketamine and cocaine in other samples.

Most of this fentanyl comes from China or Mexico – highly refined from China, not so refined from Mexico. As we reported in April, China has agreed to crack down on fentanyl and other synthetic drugs.

Brand-name look-alikes

Although it’s usually a chunky or powdered substance, Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are turning up as pills or capsules that look like OxyContin (oxycodone), Xanax (alprazolam) and other diverted pharmaceuticals. The dangers are the same as when mixed into heroin.

The DEA says criminals love fentanyl-type drugs because they’re so cheap and they boost the effect of other drugs when mixed into them.

“Due to the elevated potency of fentanyl over traditional opioid drugs (i.e., heroin), criminal organizations can use one kilogram of fentanyl to produce approximately 1 million 1-milligram counterfeit pills, resulting in potentially 10-to-20 million dollars in revenue,” the DEA says. “There are also reports that consumers in some areas are seeking fentanyl over heroin, as the ‘rush’ is greater.”

DEA Guidelines will save lives

The rush may be greater, but overdose deaths involving fentanyl are soaring and the drug is definitely threatening our first responders.

We recently read about a policemen who returned to the station after a drug bust, noticed a speck of white on his shirt, brushed it off and fell immediately into an overdose. The speck turned out to be fentanyl. Fortunately, fellow officers saved his life with naloxone. There have been numerous similar reports recently.

The new DEA fentanyl safety guidelines will help protect our first responders in the field. And we hope our report will help protect you. If you or anyone you care about needs help with opioid use or misuse, call Novus Detox today.

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President Trump's newly appointed FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, told his first gathering of agency staff last week that "unquestionably, our greatest immediate challenge is the problem of opioid abuse." Gottlieb said the opioid epidemic is "a public health crisis of staggering human and…

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After six months of serious negotiations, China has agreed to a fentanyl ban of the production and sale of four variations of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. The killer drug has been pouring into the U.S. illegally from China for years and has been implicated directly in countless overdose…

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A new study shows that long-acting prescription opioids (LAOs) not only increase the risk of unintentional overdose deaths, but also increase mortality from heart-related and other causes of death. In other words, we’ve put a lot of attention on the potential for opioid overdoses, without…

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Novus is the best way to get your life back as painlessly as possible.

Call to speak to one of our experienced & caring detox advisors today!

Everyone here was so nice and attentive and the atmosphere here is surprisingly positive and incredibly safe. When I first got here I was dreading going through the whole withdrawal experience because of what I had seen on "Intervention" and other TV shows and movies. I was in total denial about…

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A troubled Marine who overdosed and died in a VA psych ward is only one of many cases of overdose in recent years. But the VA assured the Senate committee in March that the rampant opioid prescribing has begun to ease off and other measures are being taken. The Veteran’s Affairs has come under…

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Novus is the best way to get your life back as painlessly as possible.

Call to speak to one of our experienced & caring detox advisors today!

  DEA Issues Nationwide Public Health Warning About Fentanyl and Fentanyl-laced Heroin The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued a "nationwide alert" about the growing threat to public health of the opioid painkiller fentanyl. The warning comes because of a recent surge in…

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Lots of court action underway as states seek $billions in damages from drug makers In the highly specialized world of medical treatment of substance abuse, we here at Novus are pretty much focused on just one thing — providing the very best medical drug and alcohol detox in the world to our…

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