Holiday Celebrations Are Synonymous With Recreation
The fall and early winter holidays are well underway. We wander through the season celebrating Halloween, we gather to give thanks with our families and friends, we congratulate our children on completing another semester of school, we welcome home our loved ones to honor family traditions for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and we cap off the season by wishing all a Happy New Year.
All through the season we participate in recreational activities, including decorating, shopping, writing holiday cards, playing boards games, skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, building snowmen, eating at our favorite restaurants and maybe even enjoying holiday party with family, friends and co-workers.
But what if these recreational activities take a deadly turn toward “recreational drug use?”
“But We Were Just Going To Have Some Fun…”
You hear this explanation all the time: “We just wanted to have some fun. We just wanted to get together and party.” But all too often partying can turn deadly. It can happen with drinking too much and then convincing ourselves or a friend that driving is doable. When it is not! Incredibly calling a taxi or a parent just seems out of the question.
And then there are the parties where drugs of all kinds are readily available and attendees wanting to have fun and fit in make a poor choice. This poor choice can be a deadly choice.
Cocaine And Fentanyl Mix Kills Three
December 6, 2014, turned into a very sad day in Bear Creek and Siler City, both communities in North Carolina. Three people died, 10 more were sickened with six of those being hospitalized. All had used a cocaine Fentanyl mix.
Mixing Fentanyl with illegal drugs is not new. Many communities have been dealing with this deadly problem for the past couple of years. Up to this point in the North Carolina event, investigators are still trying to determine if the victims were aware of what was contained in this recreational drug cocktail.
Meanwhile in Cleveland, Ohio, public officials reported on December 5, 2014, that there have been 12 Fentanyl-related deaths and 12 overdoes just in the past three weeks. And on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving the Monroe County New York Medical Examiner finally released the findings regarding the cause of death of State University New York Geneseo student Alex Davis. Alex was 20 years old when he died from a combination of cocaine laced in May 2014.
Understanding Fentanyl And Its Potency
You may have heard of Fentanyl. Perhaps you were having a surgical procedure and your surgeon or anesthesiologist indicated that they would be administering Fentanyl during the surgery. Or it could be that you know someone who prescribed Fentanyl patches to control their chronic pain. It is a Schedule II drug, 50 -80 times more powerful than morphine. According to the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Drug Abuse:
In its prescription form, fentanyl is known as Actiq, Duragesic, and Sublimaze. Street names for the drug include Apache, China girl, China white, dance fever, friend, goodfella, jackpot, murder 8, TNT, as well as Tango and Cash.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) website, it can be difficult to detect and treat overdoses that include Fentanyl.
- Fentanyl-related overdoses can result in sudden death through respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, severe respiratory depression, cardiovascular collapse, or severe anaphylactic reaction.
- Routine toxicology screens for opiates will not detect fentanyl. Some labs can test for fentanyl when specifically requested.
- Because these drugs, in combination, can be lethal if actions is not taken promptly, suspected overdoses should be treated rapidly with a naloxone injection, 0.4-2 mg IV, SC or IM every 2 to 3 minutes, which should rapidly reverse symptoms related to a narcotic overdose. Naloxone can also precipitate immediate narcotic withdrawal symptoms as overdose symptoms are reversed. If there is no response after 10 minutes, a different
diagnosis should be considered.
You Can Call On Us If You Have More Questions
We hope you will read all of the links we have provided in this post, and should you need more information about substance use disorder in general or Fentanyl and its misuse and/or abuse specifically we are available to assist you.
Family Recovery Specialists in Miami, FL is committed to guiding you through the most difficult process of substance abuse, drug abuse and alcohol abuse treatment and recovery. The staff at our Miami drug rehab program is available to you during the difficult moments of this journey, to help alleviate some of your stress and confusion. Our years of experience and specific expertise allow us to provide direction and help you make the best decisions, particularly in times of crisis. We remain in communication with treatment facilities while your loved one is away, we stay committed to helping your family continue the healing process and prepare you for the eventual return of your loved one. We know how stressful it can be to manage a person who is in constant crisis. We can support and provide crucial direction that will ultimately result in you feeling more confident and secure in the possibilities of recovery for your family. Contact us.