Fentanyl is the latest greatest synthetic drug to hit the streets. If you thought heroin was addictive and potent, you ain’t see nothing yet. Fentanyl is 25 to 40 times as potent as heroin and since it is a synthetic drug, cheaper, easier to produce and just what drug users of today are looking for – a long lasting, reasonably priced high.
Unfortuantely, Fentanyl is so potent, so strong that it makes overdosing something that is more likely to happen than not happen. At least 50 people have died from Fentanyl overdoses in the recent weeks. And that is just the beginning.
Several states reported sharp increases in overdose deaths caused by fentanyl and its analogs in 2014, a health advisory from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted. Ohio reported 514 fentanyl-related deaths in 2014 compared to 92 in 2013, while Maryland had 185 fentanyl deaths in 2014 compared to 58 the year before.
If you are a security guard or police officer and conduct search and seizures, you best get familiar with your PPE – that’s personal protective equipment. Gloves and respirators. Fentanyl is powerful, so powerful that if you touch it with your bare skin, you are likely to die from absorption overdosing. Inhale accidentally and you are sure to die or take a serious drug-related expedition in which you wish you were dead.
If you are a risk manager, it is time to ensure that your staff are well trained about Fentanyl, what it looks like, what it does, and what to do if you encounter it. It is a very serious narcotic that requires serious precautions.