Here’s a stunning figure from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration: Six of every 10 counterfeit pills sold in this country now contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl, a 50% increase from four out of 10 in 2021.

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That means when the 2022 death rate statistics from this very strong and very often faked and polluted opioid come in, they are likely to be far higher than the 5,722 who died in California in 2021, the last full year for which figures are available. In that same year, the national toll topped 107,000.

These were mostly patients suffering pain who took the drug after filling legitimate prescriptions. So common is illicit fentanyl that drug agents in Los Angeles alone last year seized 38 million doses of it, almost one for every person in this state. With drug enforcers finding just a fraction of all fabricated fentanyl, these figures make counterfeit fentanyl a very serious death threat but one that cannot be mitigated by masks or vaccines.

All this is from a drug once used mainly as an anesthetic or to treat patients with severe pain, especially after surgery. It also can be used by people suffering chronic pain who don’t respond to other opioids. Properly used via injections, skin patches or lozenges shaped like cough drops, the phony versions of fentanyl are often taken unknowingly by people following up on doctors’ prescriptions for other drugs.

That’s one reason for a California law known as AB 2760, signed in 2018 by former Gov. Jerry Brown. This requires prescribers to offer patients taking fentanyl a companion prescription for the opioid-reversing agent Naloxone (often called Narcan) if they are taking more than 90 milligrams of fentanyl or a morphine equivalent daily. People with histories of drug misuse who …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Elias: California’s fentanyl death rate likely rising due to mislabeled pills

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