Carfentanil and Fentanyl – Deadly When Mixed with Heroin
August 2016: 225+ heroin overdoses in 4 counties in 4 states in 1 week
Fentanyl – Synthetic opioid pain approved for treating severe pain. Commercial use: surgery and advanced cancer pain. Rated as 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
Carfentanil – Synthetic opioid, rated as 100 times more potent than fentanyl and 10,000 times stronger than morphine. Commercial use: elephant tranquilizer. An amount the size of a snowflake is enough to kill humans.
“If you breathe it, you’re going to find yourself in some serious trouble.”
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Todd Shear on Carfentanil
The DEA has linked the appearance of carfentanil to Chinese manufacturers who ship the drug through Mexico and then into America, according to the New York Times. The drug has shown up in Columbus, Ohio, the Gulf Coast of Florida and central Kentucky, according to local news reports.
Carfentanil is so powerful that police officers have begun carrying overdose-reversing nalaxone sprays for themselves, just in case they inhale a small particle or come in contact with a small amount.
Prescription Drug Addiction Leading Some Users to Heroin
As regulations tighten regarding opioid prescriptions, physicians are more carefully evaluating opioid prescriptions. A large number of those who received prescriptions at pill mill ‘clinics’ became addicted.
Of those addicted, many have turned to illicit and/or counterfeit prescription drugs – and heroin.
“Pill mills” have been receiving increased scrutiny as local, state, and federal agencies try to slow the growing drug overdose rate by prescription painkillers. The difference between pill mills and legitimate pain specialists is the volume of patients seen, prescriptions written, and limited medical exams given in pill mills. Most pill mills only accept cash payments.
In northern Texas, U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the indictment of a doctor and pharmacist, among others, for allegedly running a $5 million pill mill and distributing hundreds of thousands of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills.
In early 2016, the CDC issued new guidelines for prescribing opioids to practitioners; recommending a reduction in prescription of opioid medications for chronic pain.
For years, the DEA has been educating practitioners, pharmacists, manufacturers, and the public about the potential dangers of the misuse of opioid medications.
Counterfeit Prescription Drugs Alert
Manufacture and distribution of of counterfeit prescription drugs has increased with the epidemic of prescription drug abuse.
Fentanyls are traditionally mixed into or sold as heroin without the customer’s knowledge. Since 2014, U.S. law enforcement agencies have been seizing a new form of fentanyl: counterfeit prescription opioid pills containing fentanyls. The counterfeit pills often closely resemble the authentic medications they were designed to mimic, and the presence of fentanyls is only detected upon laboratory analysis.
DEA Intelligence Brief, July 2016
In July 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a nationwide report indicating that hundreds of thousands of counterfeit pills have been entering the U.S. drug market since 2014, some containing deadly amounts of fentanyl and fentanyl analogs.
For individuals who seek diverted medications on the illicit market, the influx of counterfeit pills – closely resembling oxycodone, Xanax, and Norco – have increased the chance of overdoses.
Fentanyl counterfeit tablets look very similar to prescription Xanax. They have the same pharmaceutical markings as the prescription anxiety drug. Counterfeit Fentanyl looks almost the same as the real prescription drug. Most users exposed to the fake tablets have no idea it is not legitimate.
Opioid Overdose – Naloxone (Narcan) Saves Lives
With fentanyl and carfentanil, multiple dosages of naloxone may need to be administered per overdose event; because of fentanyl’s increased potency. Orally-ingested counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl may require prolonged dosing of naloxone in the ER/hospital setting due to a delayed toxicity that has been reported in some cases.
“I like to think of it as naloxone revives the patient, but treatment saves the patient.”
Jon Ebbert, M.D. Addiction Specialist Mayo Clinic
Overdose – Naloxone (Narcan) Saves Lives
A growing number of law and health care agencies are working to make naloxone (Narcan), available without a prescription. The drug is used to treat an opioid emergency, such as an overdose or a possible overdose of a prescription painkiller or, more commonly, heroin. Mayo Clinic addiction specialist Dr. Jon Ebbert says the new nasal form of naloxone makes it easier to administer than the injectable version.
Opioid Addiction Treatment and Recovery – Arrowhead Lodge Recovery
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery is a gender-specific addiction treatment center for men over 30; located in Prescott, AZ.
We treat opioid painkiller addiction on two fronts: addiction and chronic pain.
This means we are able to treat both addiction and chronic pain symptoms. Our program requires a residential stay that may be covered by medical insurance plans. We also work with workers compensation companies for those whose original injury was work related.
Inpatient Opioid Treatment Program – Cognitive, Physical, Spiritual
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery is a small, private addiction, co-occurring disorder and trauma treatment program for men 30 and older; located in the beautiful mountains of Prescott, Arizona.
We use a multi-disciplinary addiction treatment approach to treat the whole person, implemented by licensed professionals.
Mindfulness training, healthy exercise, nutritional counseling and education, cognitive behavioral therapy and psychoeducation are a part of our treatment program. We have chosen to keep our facility small and staff to client ratio large.
Each client receives individual therapy and counseling; as well as group therapy and counseling.
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery employs an experienced and licensed team consisting of a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, registered nurse, licensed therapists, and nutritionist.
The experienced and accredited Arrowhead Lodge Team allows us to help men for whom previous treatment attempts may have failed. Thorough medical, psycho-social, addiction and trauma assessments inform medical interventions, medication management needs, and the team’s individual approach to treating addiction and trauma in each client.
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery also believes strongly in encouraging the power of spirituality in the healing process. We help our clients discover a personal path to living a more authentic life.
Questions? Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Has Answers
Call our admissions counselor now at 1-888-654-2800 for a confidential assessment to see if our prescription painkiller addiction recovery program can help you return to a meaningful and fulfilling life.