Fentanyl deaths have skyrocketed to over 1,000% over the last six years, and it's only getting more worse. The number of fatalities related to the drug held fairly steady between 2011 and 2012, hovering around 1,600 deaths in both those years. In 2013, the number increased to just over 1,900 fatalities.
Fentanyl is a powerful painkiller developed over 60 years ago. Only a few grains of fentanyl can cause an overdose. Fentanyl is a man-made opioid used to manage severe pain, the drug was created by a Belgian physician in 1960. Fentanyl is 100 times more powerful than morphine and 50 times more powerful than heroin.
It only takes about 2 milligrams of fentanyl to cause an overdose, many times Fentanyl is combined with street drugs like cocaine and heroin to make it more lethal.
Many police officers and EMT’s are carrying naloxone, which is a drug that can help reverse an overdose from fentanyl. Naloxone can be used as a nasal spray or injected into the body, it works as an antidote to block the effects of opioids and help restore normal body functions before the drug was taken.
Many pharmacies are now stocked with naloxone, and it's available for purchase without a prescription in about 46 states. When naloxone was first introduced the opioid deaths in a Massachusetts community dropped by 11%.
Fentanyl manufactured in clandestine labs has been traced to Mexico and China, according to the DEA. Some of the illicit fentanyl made in Chinese labs is sent to the United States in small packages through the U.S. postal system or overnight shipping companies, making it difficult to detect.
If you suspect that your employees are using than a drug test would be required to confirm. Noble Medical offers fentanyl testing products. Please contact us to learn more.