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THURSDAY, March 31, 2022 (HealthDay Information)
Regulation enforcement seizures of tablets containing illicit fentanyl rose practically 50-fold, in keeping with a comparability of information from the primary quarter of 2018 with the final quarter of 2021 — with tablets accounting for greater than one-quarter of seizures by the tip of final 12 months.
“A rise in illicit tablets containing fentanyl factors to a brand new and more and more harmful interval in the USA,” stated Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the U.S. Nationwide Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Volkow famous that tablets are sometimes taken or snorted by inexperienced drug customers who’ve decrease tolerances.
“When a capsule is contaminated with fentanyl, as is now usually the case, poisoning can simply happen,” she stated in an NIDA information launch.
In precise numbers, seizures of tablets containing fentanyl elevated from 68 to 635. And the whole variety of particular person tablets seized surged from simply over 42,200 to 2.1 million.
Seizures of fentanyl-containing powder rose from 424 to 1,539. The entire weight of powder seized elevated from about 650 kilos to over 5,000 kilos, in keeping with the NIH-funded research revealed March 31 within the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
The newest knowledge from the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention reported overdose deaths at a file degree, with practically 106,000 within the 12-month interval ending in October of final 12 months. That loss of life toll is basically pushed by illicit fentanyl and different artificial opioids.
Whereas folks might deliberately hunt down illicit fentanyl, many usually are not conscious that the drugs they suppose they’re utilizing — together with heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine or benzodiazepines — may very well be fentanyl, or have been adulterated or contaminated with fentanyl, officers say.
Fentanyl is about 50 instances stronger than heroin and a deadly dose could also be as small as 2 milligrams, so utilizing a drug laced with fentanyl significantly will increase overdose threat.
In keeping with research chief Joseph Palamar, “For the primary time, we are able to see this speedy rise in tablets adulterated with fentanyl, which raises pink flags for rising threat of hurt in a inhabitants that’s probably much less skilled with opioids.” Palamar is a co-investigator on the NIDA-funded National Drug Early Warning System, and an affiliate professor at NYU Grossman College of Drugs in New York Metropolis.
“We completely want extra hurt discount methods, resembling naloxone distribution and fentanyl check strips, in addition to widespread schooling in regards to the threat of tablets that aren’t coming from a pharmacy,” stated Palamar. “The instant message right here is that tablets illegally obtained can comprise fentanyl.”
There’s extra on fentanyl on the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.
SOURCE: U.S. Nationwide Institute on Drug Abuse, information launch, March 31, 2022
By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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