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STATES CHRONICLE – A recent study has recently revealed that doctors over-prescribe opioid-based painkillers, which in turn have a high chance of triggering an addiction. People addicted to painkillers also have an increased risk of becoming addicted to other drugs such as heroin.
DuPage County now reports a concerning sudden rise in drug-related deaths. The cause of these deaths are Heroin and Fentanyl, a notoriously powerful painkiller.
In 2015, DuPage County has recorded 43 deaths in which various mixes of heroin and fentanyl were involved.
In 2016 so far, twelve people have died from taking a similar combination.
Fentanyl, alone, has been the cause of death for eight people in 2015. In the first five months of 2016, DuPage County has recorded ten fentanyl-related deaths.
The potent painkiller is currently consumed by many as a recreational drug, which has a high risk of accidental overdose.
Heroin is known to be four or five times stronger than morphine. Medical fentanyl is considered to be 100 times more potent than morphine. Any mixing of the two substances leads to an incredibly high chance of overdose.
While those numbers alone can be considered cause for more than enough concern, DuPage County police officers have confiscated imported or “homebrew” versions of the drug. These versions of fentanyl, medical officials state, are five to ten time stronger than medical fentanyl.
Additionally, the illegally imported or homebrew drug is disguised to look like other market drugs, such as OxyContin or Xanax. Several people who overdosed did so not knowing what drugs they were actually taking.
The most effective means of attempting to prevent an in-progress Heroin and Fentanyl overdose-induced death is with the help of Narcan. Narcan is a drug specially designed to reverse an opiate-based overdose.
Last year, DuPage County police officers received specialized training in applying the medication. With the help of the Narcan drug, officers have managed to save 62 people who had overdosed on Heroin and Fentanyl in 2015. In just the first five months of 2016, the number of individuals saved from overdosing was 64.
DuPage County has already initiated several comprehensive education programs in high schools and middle schools. The programs have been designed to enforce opioid prevention.
The County’s health department has also strengthened its efforts to connect Heroin and Fentanyl addicts to health organizations and support groups that can help them get proper treatment and avoid further addiction.
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