“This rapid increase in seizures and deaths tells us that we are on a very dangerous trajectory. There is no question that this is an epidemic with legs and it is sprinting…We will not allow San Diego and Imperial counties to serve as a Fentanyl Gateway for the rest of the country.”
~ Alana W. Robinson, US Attorney for the Southern District of California
Because of its unique geography, San Diego is at particular risk from the super-potent fentanyl flowing into the country from Mexico. 75% of the illicit fentanyl seized along the southern border is through entry points in Southern California.
Let’s look at what you need to know about fentanyl.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times more potent than 100% pure laboratory-grade heroin. Some analogues of fentanyl can be up to 10,000 times more powerful than morphine.
Although it has a legitimate medical use as a painkiller – especially for cancer patients – rates of divergent, abuse, and overdose are skyrocketing.
What Are the Dangers of Fentanyl Abuse?
Even leaving out the personal and societal damage that drug abuse does, the misuse of fentanyl makes an overdose death a probability, rather than a possibility. While all opioids can cause respiratory depression, fentanyl’s potency and unique formulation magnifies that risk.
A dosage as small as six grains of salt can kill, and it may take multiple administrations of life-saving Narcan to reverse a fentanyl overdose.
How Bad Is the Fentanyl Problem?
Fentanyl-related deaths in San Diego were estimated to be QUADRUPLE 2014’s total. In fact, fentanyl killed more San Diegans in the first six months of 2017 than in 2014 and 2015 put together.
This reflects the alarming reality in the rest of the country, where 53 people a day die from a synthetic opioid overdose. In 2017, the New York Times reported that fentanyl-related deaths had jumped by 540% within just three years.
(This concludes in Part 2)
If you are struggling with opioid addiction, get the help you need by contacting Lasting Recovery, a premier Southern California outpatient drug rehab.