August 30, 2016

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an alert regarding a nationwide increase in fentanyl-related unintentional overdoses in multiple states primarily driven by illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF).

In addition to fentanyl deaths, there have been reports of deaths due to Carfentanil and from using counterfeit drugs laced with fentanyl.

An influx of counterfeit pills, resembling Oxycodone, Xanax and Norco, has also increased the chance of fentanyl-involved overdose among persons using or misusing prescription opioids or benzodiazepines who seek medications on the illicit market.

“Counterfeit drugs should be of great concern to those buying drugs on the street,” said Health
Commissioner Jeff Cooper, Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County. “Users of illegal street drugs risk death since there is no way to tell what amount of each ingredient is in the drugs.”

Carfentanil is a large animal sedative, much more potent than fentanyl and heroin. In addition, a widening array of toxic, illicit fentanyl-related compounds are being mixed with heroin or sold as heroin often without the knowledge of the consumer.

"This is disturbing. These new developments place people at high risk for overdose from illicitly manufactured fentanyl,” said Helen Jones-Kelley, Executive Director, Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS). “We urge people and their loved ones to seek out treatment options. The risks of experimentation are simply too great.”

Family members of persons at risk of a drug overdose or those using opiates should consider carrying Naloxone. Naloxone is a life-saving medication that, if administered during an opiate overdose can potentially save the life of the individual. There is the possibility that multiple doses of the reversal drug Naloxone may be required to counteract an overdose due to unknown compounds found in counterfeit drugs.

For more information on how to obtain and use Naloxone contact Project DAWN, through Crisis Care at 937-224-4646.

Public Health and ADAMHS in collaboration with community partners are working to expand the Continuum of Care for treatment and recovery services.


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