Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic painkiller used on patients after surgery that’s up to 100 times stronger than morphine, is worrying physicians and health care providers in Los Angeles County since is been is appearing now more than ever in overdoses across the United States, and now a large number of deaths across California are related to the drug.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health said that there was an average of 40 fentanyl-related deaths each year from 2011 to 2013, but in 2014, it jumped to 62, meaning there was a 50 percent increase. That figure rose to 62 deaths in 2014.
No new data was available for last year. But according to the department, there were 51 overdoses, 11 of them fatal, in the Sacramento County area over the last month, which triggered the alert in the area.
Even though the drug can be used as a prescription drug, lately is being made illegally, mixing it with the prescription drug Norco or else being sold under that name. Its street names include Apache, China girl, China white, dance fever, friend, goodfella, jackpot, murder 8, TNT, as well as Tango and Cash, notes the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
The powerful painkiller is also causing fatal overdoses in Northern California and, according to the most recent figures released Friday by N.H. Office of Chief Medical Examiner, at least 48 people in New Hampshire have died from a drug overdose since the current year began, blaming the fentanyl for 21 one of them, and 10 of those died because they ate the drug combined with another one.
“Obviously it’s been big on the East Coast and Midwest, it’s possible that it could be coming this way,” said John Martin, special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration in San Francisco.
Source: LA Times