Below is a recent news report from CNN talking about how Police and EMTS are at danger while dealing with opioids such as Fentanyl. This drug is an opioid because it is made in a lab using chemicals that mimic opium which is in heroin. Whereas, Heroin is an opiate.
Fentanyl has no limit on how strong it can be. This drug is so strong that just by placing some of it on your skin, it travels into your bloodstream very quickly. Not many other drugs can enter your body through only your skin.
The Cartels and other drug dealers have introduced Street Fentanyl into the business. Not only are they selling cheap heroin, but they are lacing it with potent Fentanyl. This is the leading cause for overdose deaths.
However, we have to think about the first responders. The people that risk their lives to help save the life of an overdosing addict. Addicts who might no necessarily be deserving of it. Sure, addiction is a disease AFTER you make the choice to first use it. If you have checked yourself into rehab and really tried to defeat your addiction, more power to you. That is respectable and never give up.
But, if you are ones of those who just love to get high and never plan to go to rehab…shame on you for putting other people around you at risk. Especially if you are taking Fentanyl. Every first-responding EMT personnel you are putting at risk if you ever overdose and need their help. This has become a major issue. Read the article below for a first-hand account about this issue.
” CNN—A Maryland sheriff’s deputy and two emergency medical technicians received treatment for possible heroin and fentanyl exposure after responding to a drug overdose.
About 11 p.m. Friday, a Harford County sheriff’s deputy got sick as he and EMTs attempted to revive a person who had overdosed on a mixture of heroin and fentanyl, according to Cristie Kahler, spokeswoman for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.
EMTs gave the deputy a dose of Narcan, an opioid antidote, and rushed him to a hospital, Kahler said.
The EMT who administered Narcan began to feel sick, too, according to Rich Gardiner, spokesman for the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association. At the hospital, the other EMT fell ill, according to Gardiner.
Authorities still aren’t sure how the drugs got to the first responders, who were wearing gloves.
“Did the deputy touch or inhale something?” said Kahler. “I don’t know if we will ever have a definite answer.”
“Maybe it aerosolized,” said Gardiner. “This new designer stuff. We don’t even know what we’re walking into now.”
Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. Just a quarter of a milligram — a few granules — can kill a user.
The incident was the first of its kind in Harford County, according to authorities, but accidental exposure of emergency personnel to dangerous opioids has happened before.
Just a week earlier in East Liverpool, Ohio, a police officer collapsed and was rushed to the hospital after he brushed fentanyl residue off his uniform, allowing the drug to enter his system through his hands. The officer had apparently encountered the opioid earlier in the day while making a drug bust.
Both the first responders in Maryland and the officer in Ohio were treated, observed and released from a hospital and are now fine. But these kinds of incidents have forced law enforcement and emergency medical teams to consider new ways of protecting themselves when trying to help others.
“It’s causing us to think a lot about how we’re going to handle these future incidents,” said Gardiner, “Should we wear some kind of outer garb when answering a call? Put on a respiratory device before going in?”
“We have an immediate plan we are going to put in place and we will continue to evolve. We are making sure our deputies have the necessary equipment they need to be safe. We had already changed our Narcan dose from 1mg to 4mg, recognizing that overdosing victims needed several doses to come out of it. And really we started to talk to people about precautions,” said Kahler, “Even in warm weather, officers are recommended to wear long-sleeves, double gloves and nitrile gloves. They also want them to wear a respirator or mask to wear.”
For all their hard work and all they went through, the first responders in Harford County can at least say that Friday, the person who needed them when he or she overdosed on heroin and fentanyl was revived at the scene and lived another day, according to Kahler.”
Narcan is like a miracle drug that halts a drug over-dose if the addict takes it in time. Therefore, most first-responders including Police Officers nation-wide are now carrying a supply of Narcan. Usually it is a nasal mist that they squirt up the nose of the addict who is over-dosing.
It works very fast to counter-act the opium chemicals that are slowing the breathing and heart beat of the person. This normally leads to death when they fully stop breathing. But, Narcan immediately stops these chemicals from working.
However, is this just another reason to keep getting high? If you know that some EMT will come to your aid and give you Narcan if you over-dose does this mean that you have a safe-haven? And, you can keep living your life of taking heroin or pain pills every day. NO, IT DOES NOT MEAN THIS.
Unfortunately, to some people they do think this way. They are being given an ‘easy-out’ if they ever cross the line and take too much of this drug. We strongly feel that our State and Federal Governments should put more control on this Narcan drug.
For example, we propose that any person who has to be given Narcan be forced to enter into a specific drug treatment program. By law, if Narcan had to be issued to someone over-dosing then they are obligated to go through a long, detailed drug recovery process. And, if they don’t,..they go to jail.
We need to create programs like this. An addict should only be able to over-dose and use narcan once in their life. Because they did this, they enter detox and treatment. It is mandatory that they stick with the drug program until they reach a successful recovery. They will continue to be monitored for a long-time in order to avoid relapse.
YES, we need something firm and strategic like this that we propose. More must be done. This would be for their own benefit.
90% of all addicts who enter rehab end up relapsing during their first week. These numbers are NOT good. Something is very wrong. We know that opioids & opiates are extremely powerful and addictive drugs, but there must be something that can be done to help them avoid relapsing. Addicts should never relapse once they enter rehab. Because all rehabs should have the right programs that help them avoid turning back to drugs.
We need to create new initiatives and programs. The old ways just are not working. Sitting in a room with a bunch of other heroin users and talking to a therapist is not cutting it. These people go right out the door and start using drugs again. It happens so much that most drug rehab clinics expect their patients to relapse.
A clinic should NOT BE expecting any of their new patients to relapse. This means that they are accepting failure of doing their own job of counseling addicts.
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This is a community problem. Let us work together to fix it. Never Giving Up.
We need more faith-based drug addiction programs. Even in a public rehab clinic the counselors are recommending that addicts ‘tap’ into FAITH. A drug addiction of this kind (heroin & pain pills) is so powerful and controlling that you need a Higher Power to help you. You need to put your faith in a Real, Living God. Ask Him for help. You will be surprised at how God will come to your rescue if you sincerely ask Him to.
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