Opioids can effectively reduce severe pain in the short term, but they can be very addictive, especially if they are misused. Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, has been increasingly found throughout Arizona in recent years and has been found to be 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine, making it extremely dangerous and addictive. The Drug Enforcement Agency recently issued a warning about brightly-colored fentanyl pills circulating throughout Arizona and 18 other states. The deceiving-looking pills resemble candy and may target younger children and adolescents.
Spreading awareness to parents and community members can save lives. Here are some useful resources:
- Since counterfeit opioids look very similar to prescribed medications, it's important to learn how to spot the difference between real and counterfeit opioids.
- If you are helping individuals or communities that need direct help for opioid use and misuse, a bilingual hotline is available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 24/7 at 1-800-622-4357.
- More substance misuse resources can be found in our previous article here.
Overdose prevention measures also exist that can save lives:
- As a healthcare provider, using Naloxone, a medicine that is administered to treat opioid overdoses rapidly, can directly save an individual's life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer free Naloxone training to assess use in patients and communities, engage in conversation with individuals using opioids, reduce stigma amongst using populations, and when and how to administer Naloxone. Interested in more information about opioid use and prevention? Check out the Arizona Department of Health Services booklet!