State crime lab confirms confiscated pill is fentanyl disguised as oxycodone
First time extremely potent synthetic opioid found in this form in Alaska
January 03, 2017
This is the first time that a counterfeit prescription opioid tablet made with fentanyl has been identified in Alaska; however, many other states have been seeing these counterfeit tablets for months.
The distribution of counterfeit tablets represents an important public health threat, and the general public should be made aware of the significant risks to life and health when purchasing what appears to be prescription medications from any source other than a legitimate pharmacy. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to distinguish a counterfeit pill from a legitimate one.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.
In its prescription form, it is used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery. It is also sometimes used to treat patients with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to other opioids. In its prescription form, fentanyl is known by such names as Actiq®, Duragesic®, and Sublimaze®.
Street names for fentanyl or for fentanyl-laced heroin include Apache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, TNT, and Tango and Cash.
For the individual abusing the drug outside a hospital, fentanyl is highly dangerous, as the difference between a therapeutic dose and a deadly dose is very small.
As with any opiate, the main symptoms of fentanyl abuse are euphoria, drowsiness, lethargy and mellowness. Addiction is also a symptom of fentanyl abuse.
The Alaska Division of Public Health recently launched a website dedicated to educating the public about the issue of heroin and opioid addiction and providing helpful information and links to treatment and support services for persons who are addicted to opioids. The website is available at: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Director/Pages/heroin-opioids/default.aspx
Reporting & Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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