How Fentanyl Poisoning Became a National Crisis: Pain Doctor Johns Hopkins explains

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Every day in the United States, news detailing horrific fentanyl-related deaths makes headlines as the nation grapples with a drug crisis unlike any other. How did we get here?

Doctors began using opioids to treat chronic pain more frequently in the 1990s, which has led to an increase in opioid use among people who don’t need them, according to Johns Hopkins associate professor and conductor. of the “Aches and Gains” podcast, Dr. Paul Christo, pain doctor for nearly 20 years.

“To the pain specialist, we are often in the middle of treatment … those on opioids, developing the addiction disease,” he said. “As part of that, we … end up treating patients who have the disease of addiction, referring them to addiction medicine specialists, for example … trying to treat their pain. Much of what we see now about the Opioid overdose simultaneously involves Sai, there is an epidemic of chronic pain in the United States affecting about a third of the population. “

DEAD OF FENTANYL OVERDOSE THAT REQUIRE THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN LIVES; WHAT IS BEHIND THE INCREASE?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is deadly in small doses and is found more frequently in recreational drugs, although some illicit drug manufacturers and cartels have put fentanyl into pills made to look like prescription pain relievers.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year, a record 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses and drug poisoning, led by synthetic opioid - or fentanyl - poisoning.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year, a record 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses and drug poisoning, led by synthetic opioid – or fentanyl – poisoning.
(Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA))

“It is important that the public … especially families, friends, parents and especially those classified as young adults aged 13-25 are aware of the risks of using personal synthetic fentanyl,” said the dr. Paul Christo, an associate professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and host of the “Aches and Gains” podcast, told Fox News Digital. “We’re not really talking about the pharmaceutically produced fentanyl we use for patients with chronic pain. I think that’s an important distinction.”

DETAILS OF THE MICHIGAN OFFICIAL WONDERFUL MOMENT WHEN IT IS GLUED FOR EXPOSURE TO FENTANYL

The illegal street fentanyl is “lethal because it’s so powerful,” he explained. The average person does not “need to ingest much to cause breathing problems and thus death.” The public should be aware that fentanyl can be found in drugs ranging from heroin, to cocaine and methamphetamine to cannabis, Christo explained. Fentanyl test strips can help eliminate the threat of fentanyl in those drugs. Also, having Narcan, a medicine used to treat narcotic overdoses, on hand, can save those who ingest too much fentanyl.

A record 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses and drug poisoning last year, driven by synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An analysis of CDC data published in December 2021 by the fentanyl awareness organization Families Against Fentanyl found that illicit fentanyl poisoning was No. 1 cause of death for American adults aged 18 to 45 last year.

Fentanyl is lethal in small doses and is found more frequently in recreational drugs, although some illegal drug manufacturers and cartels have included fentanyl in pills made to look like prescription pain relievers.

Fentanyl is lethal in small doses and is found more frequently in recreational drugs, although some illegal drug manufacturers and cartels have included fentanyl in pills made to look like prescription pain relievers.
(Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA))

A February study by the Stanford-Lancet Commission on the North American Opioid Crisis predicts an estimated 1.2 million drug overdose deaths in the United States over the next 10 years, with the black community most adversely affected by the crisis.

VIRGINIA COUNTY REPORTS THE PRESENCE OF OPIOIDS MORE DEADLY THAN FENTANYL

Drug seizures on the southern border have skyrocketed in recent years. Customs and Border Protection seized 10,586 pounds of the drug in fiscal year 2021, compared to 4,558 pounds seized in fiscal 2020 and 2,633 pounds seized in fiscal 2019.

While it is unclear how much fentanyl is entering the United States, as that number refers only to drug apprehensions, the number of drug-related deaths is on the rise. the Drug Application Administration earlier this year he warned of a “national peak” of fentanyl overdose.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
(Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA))

“It appears that much of the fentanyl is transported across the United States from Mexico. It can be produced at low cost and is extremely dangerous compared to taking small doses, which can lead to death quite easily. So I think we are starting to mobilize. an answer in terms of what we can do to reduce efficacy, “Christo said, adding that increased border surveillance of drugs entering the country to ensure they do not contain fentanyl can prevent the spread of the opioid within the country. United States.

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Those suffering from addiction should seek treatment. Some cities have “public health services related to substance abuse and use” free for eligible people, according to Christo. The American Psychological Association and Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) websites have free resources for those interested in seeking treatment options in their areas.

If you or someone you know is experiencing substance abuse and addiction, contact the SAMHSA national hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.