September 22, 2023
You may hear in passing about fentanyl nowadays and wonder what it is all about. That’s a great question and it’s one worth looking into.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that, according to the California Department of Public Health fentanyl is “50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.” Along with this, fentanyl is a relatively inexpensive drug meaning it can be easily manufactured and distributed at a wide scale. This combination has led fentanyl to making headlines from ever-increasing overdoses and deaths.
While you may think that these facts just affect people who use opioids, that doesn’t paint the full picture. There are some instances of overdoses affecting people who don’t use opioids. 2 mg of fentanyl is potent enough to cause an overdose meaning that if a tiny amount of fentanyl dust gets in the air, it is enough to kill someone if inhaled or gets into the eyes. Another factor that makes fentanyl dangerous is that fentanyl is often mixed into other substances (such as cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and other drugs) to increase supply at a lower cost. This means that someone who is taking a mixed drug may not know what they are taking and may lead to an overdose.
Fentanyl is dangerous stuff, that is for sure, but that doesn’t stop you from protecting yourself and being prepared. Fentanyl Testing Strips allow users of other substances to test for traces of fentanyl. These strips test to see if fentanyl is present and give users a better idea of if their drug is safe from fentanyl. Another resource is Naloxone (or Narcan). It is a nasal spray that can temporarily reverse an opioid or fentanyl overdose. Naloxone can be a crucial tool in giving emergency services time to get to someone who overdosed.
The Multi-Ethnic Collaborative of Community Agencies (MECCA) is looking to combat this increase in overdose by giving out Naloxone (Narcan) Nasal Spray, Test Strips (Fentanyl and Xylazine), overdose reversal trainings, and referrals for free/low-cost treatments. We will be providing this through our Drop-In Center which will be held every Wednesday, from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM, at the Village Shared Spaces (1505 E. 17th Street, Santa Ana, 92705). Feel free to stop by as it is open to all ages so that you can get some supplies for you, your friends, or family members. We want our community to be safe and providing these resources is our way of helping in this crisis. We hope you consider dropping by.
For more: https://www.ocmecca.org/