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Intervention Aroostook: 3.30.2021

Intervention Aroostook
Intervention Aroostook(wagm)
Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 7:55 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, are now the most common drugs involved in drug overdose deaths in the United States. In this week’s Intervention Aroostook, Shawn Cunningham reports on what fentanyl actually is and why its a leading cause of many drug overdose deaths.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid, a prescription drug that is also made and used illegally. Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths. And while its become an addictive deadly trend sold to users by drug dealers...it didn’t start out that way. Local healthcare practitioners say fentanyl actually has a positive purpose when used properly.

John Thyng Physician Assistant Norther Light A.R. Gould Hospital

“is a very useful medication iit comes in these patches that people with chronic cancer pain or other types of pain use and one of the ways that people are abusing this is by getting their hands on those patches even ones already used and finding a way to extract the fentanyl that’s in the patch.”

Shawn Cunningham NO STANDUP

But that’s not the only way. Drug dealers and substance users mix fentanyl with other drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA. Thyng says its deadly concoction and combination that can lead to overdoses...

“fentanyl is 100 times more potent that morphine its 30-50 times more potent than heroin so when you combine that with ease of making and how quick you can make it people are getting more bang for their buck.”

More bang and more overdose deaths... Like heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs, fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, which are found in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions.

“so the onset of euphoria or the high and subsequently the severe side effects are much quicker so it makes it more dangerous for a small amount goes a long way and the onset is so quick its difficult to get people help that they accidentally overdose.”

Thyng says its critically important to educate the public about drug awareness and providing support to the recovery community. If not, as is already the case...the number of overdose deaths will continue to rise... Shawn Cunningham, NS 8.

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