According to a local report, Virginia State Police say they have recovered a synthetic opioid “even more powerful and deadly than fentanyl.”
Protonitazene “is a new synthetic opioid that is around three times more powerful than fentanyl – which is already 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine” reports Fox News.
While “Opioid prescriptions have fallen about 40% in the last decade amid restrictions by hospitals, insurers and state officials,” the “deaths tied to the medications remain at 13,000 to 14,000 per year. And studies suggest people who become addicted to opioids continue to start with prescription opioids, before switching to cheaper heroin and illegally-made fentanyl” adds Fox News.
In December, the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education warned that “nitazenes” were gaining traction across the United States and Canada. Dr. Kimberly Lane, a chemistry professor at Radford University, explained the deadly drug to WFXR-TV: protonitazene binds tighter to receptors in the brain, making it more potent. She said the drug has started to become a concern in just the last few months.
“Because it’s a fairly new drug, they’re still looking at how it binds and what that might look like,” Lane said. Narcan is a life saving drug administered to individuals as they experience an overdose in order to reverse the drug’s affects.
“A single nasal spray is usually sufficient to help someone experiencing an overdose caused by fentanyl. However, someone may need two to three times that in order to treat a protonitazene overdose” Fox News adds. “Last year, U.S. overdose deaths soared to a record of 107,000 driven overwhelmingly by fentanyl and other illegal opioids.”
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Lifesaving Narcan administered to toddler who came into contact with fentanyl while playing in San Francisco park
San Francisco’s progressive soft on crime policies almost cost one toddler his life. A ten-month-old was playing in a park when he almost died from fentanyl poisoning. The toddler was merely crawling in the grass when he suddenly couldn’t breathe and began to turn blue. The nanny quickly called 9-1-1 and paramedics administered the anti-overdose drug Narcan, saving the boy’s life.
“I shook him, and I’m like, something’s wrong,” the boy’s nanny told WRAL News. “I saw his face and he was dizzy. I thought he’s not breathing.” The Center Square reports that fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, “can be accidentally absorbed through skin contact and by breathing the powder.” It is also odorless, can be undetectable by the naked eye, and only “two milligrams of the illicit opioid, the weight of a mosquito, is considered a lethal dose.”
In an effort to raise public awareness, the toddler’s father decided to share a copy of his son’s hospital report with the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Sutter Health’s CPMC hospital report, the diagnosis was listed as an “accidental fentanyl overdose, initial encounter” followed by “respiratory arrest.”
The father, Ivan Matkovic, told The Chronicle “It’s not just dealers and people you don’t know who are impacted by this, it’s tipping over into the broader populace.”
Fentanyl overdoses are plaguing the United States. From street drugs being laced with the cheaper opioid to being disguised as candy, tragic stories on victims of all ages are published daily.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency recently issued its second public safety notice in roughly a year on the dangers of fake pills laced with fentanyl. The Center Square reports of the fentanyl crisis sweeping the nation:
Since last March, Texas law enforcement officers have seized over 352 million lethal doses of fentanyl in pill and powder form being brought in through the southern border – enough to kill everyone in the United States. Florida law enforcement officers over a several month period this year seized enough fentanyl to kill everyone in Florida. That was after officers in a separate operation seized enough fentanyl from a Mexican cartel-related drug bust to kill half of Florida’s population.
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