Sacramento County is having a hard time because of its first crisis of massive overdoses related with fentanyl. On Tuesday, the Sacramento County Division of Public Health confirmed that, just during the past week, 6 six people died and there’s another 22 that are hospitalized as a consequence of the ingestion of pills, from the street-bought, made to seem like a prescription painkiller (Norco tablets).
These capsules are composed by hydrocodone, acetaminophen and fentanyl, which turns out to be a synthetic painkiller more powerful and potent than morphine or heroin, and it’s actually been causing an outbreak of deaths all over the United States. Unfortunately, now it has reached Sacramento County too.
John Martin, a special agent in charge of the San Francisco office of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, is worried because this phenomenon seems to show that people aren’t aware of the risks that carry “purchasing street drugs”.
Regarding this, Dr. Randall Stenson, an addiction specialist and medical director of C.O.R.E. (a Sacramento opiate recovery clinic), said that those who are consuming street drugs must know “that there is absolutely no quality control”.
“You have no idea what you are putting into your body,” he added.
Plus, Dr. Randall Stenson explains why it is so dangerous to ingest fentanyl carelessly. He says that if there’s no control of how much of this drugs someone is ingesting, it can crush the breathing center of the brain in a matter of seconds.
After 6 people died from overdoses last week, Dr. Olivia Kasiyre, Sacramento County Public Health Officer, has declared a health emergency, just as the federal drug enforcement officials consider the situations as “a serious health threat”.
The patients, ranging in age from the mid-20s to 50s, are being treated with several doses of naloxone, which is another drug that counters the effects of an overdose.
A nationwide crisis
Sacramento County isn’t the only one having a hard time with opiate overdoses, this is a nationwide crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 78 Americans die every day from opiate overdoses.
So, in order to face the opiate addiction, President Obama announced on Tuesday the incorporation of additional funding for treatment centers and the expansion of anti-addictions drugs to counter the effects of overdoses.
Source: Sacramento Bee