Experts Say Users of Fentanyl Frequently Don’t Know How Dangerous the Narcotic Really Is
The drug overdose of Prince is drawing attention to the danger of the drug fentanyl.
It’s one of the most effective…..but also one of the most deadly medications in the world.
And it’s causing big concern here in Tennessee, which is number one in the nation for opiad abuse.
T.J. JORDAN, ASST. DIR., TBI “Fentanyl is basically a synthetic or pharmaceutical heroin. And so Fentanyl unfortunately , a morphine like drug, is a 100 to a thousand times stronger than heroin itself so what we’ve been having is an epidemic of drug overdose.”
Fentanyl is the most effective pain medication in the world when used correctly. But the downside is that well-meaning people and addicts are dying when it isn’t. It isn’t know how Prince was getting or using the narcotic, but many Americans are doing it–legally and illegally.
How serious is the problem?
DEBBIE LOUDERMILK, DIR. OUTPATIENT SERVICES, CADAS “It’s an epidemic, if this was any other kind of virus in this country we would be absolutely on our heads about it.”
PHIL SMITH, PHARMACIST, ACCESS PHARMACY “These guys that are abusing it…injecting it..and when its that strong..it doesn’t take very much of it to be lethal.”
Treatment centers like CADAS are seeing more abuse of the poiad drugs locally.
DEBBIE LOUDERMILK “The use of fentanyl is primarily for terminal cancer patients …it is not a medication to be use for pain management
Some may ask why the government doesn’t control opiads better.
PHIL SMITH “I have experience here with people that use them legitimately and I would hate to see them take that drug away and hurt the people that legitimately need it.”
But here are hard facts: Overdose deaths from synthetic opioids jumped by 80 percent in 2014 over the previous year, according to the CDC.
DEBBIE LOUDERMILK “It is far exceeding the number of deaths we have from other things like car accidents.”
Pharmacist Phil Smith says a lot of the illegal drugs that kill people are made in Mexico or overseas, and there’s no telling what’s really in the mix.
One thing we know..is that residents of Tennessee are especially at risk.
DEBBIE LOUDERMILK “Usually number one…number one or number two in the country.”