Earlier this month there was news that over 90 people overdosed on synthetic marijuana laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl at a park in New Haven, Conn. Thankfully, no one died of an overdose that day due to the quick response from emergency personnel. Such stories remind us that people across the country are struggling with addiction to illicit substances and opioid-based pain medications.
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A Note from Robert Lubran, MS, MPA, Director, Division of Pharmacologic Therapies, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, SAMHSAUnfortunately, the blog below, written last year by SAMHSA’s former Chief Medical Officer, remains timely. Another rash of fentanyl-related overdoses have occurred; this time in the Chicago area. In the past several days there have been more than 82 opioid overdoses and seven deaths linked to the use of heroin contaminated with fentanyl. Please read the blog below for more information about this dangerous substance, and the resources SAMHSA has to help prevent opioid overdoses.
We would like to take a moment to talk about the people behind these data.
The Food and Drug Administration has today made an important advance in helping to save lives when overdoses from drugs known as opioids occur: the approval of a drug that can actually reverse that overdose.Opioids include legal prescription drugs, such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone with acetaminophen), used to treat pain, as well as illegal street drugs, such as heroin. In 2010, overdoses of prescription opioids were linked to 16,651 deaths and heroin was linked to 3,036 deaths in the United States.