A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE SPRINGBOARD CENTER
The Springboard Center has noticed the fast-rising trend of clients coming into detox and testing positive for fentanyl. It is quite shocking, especially for our clients, to learn through screening, that their drug of choice has been cut or laced with fentanyl. Recently, a person familiar to the Center died from a lethal dose of fentanyl, mixed in with the methamphetamine being consumed.
“If only the person could have obtained assistance from the Center and avoided an untimely and unnecessary death. This tragedy doesn’t need to become another person’s reality,” said Dr. Mark Alexander, Executive Director.
In January, a 28-year-old smoked a powdery substance given to him by a friend. His mother found him unresponsive in the living room of her home. He was pronounced dead from a fentanyl overdose.
In February, a 20-year-old suffering from anxiety, consumed a counterfeit oxycodone pill before going to bed. His roommates found him dead the next morning from a fentanyl overdose.
In May, a 19-year-old purchased two Percocet’s from a friend. He consumed both pills and subsequently died from an overdose. Toxicology reports indicated that he died from alarmingly high levels of fentanyl.
Last year, according to the CDC, deaths from drug overdoses skyrocketed to 93,000, driven by the rise of fentanyl abuse. Most of the recent cases of fentanyl related harm, overdose, and death in the U.S. are linked to illegally made fentanyl (source: DEA). Drug trafficking organizations typically distribute fentanyl by the kilogram and one kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people. This year alone, the Texas Department of Public Safety has seized enough fentanyl to kill every person in Texas and California combined — a 950% increase compared to last year.
Close to home, the Ector County Medical Examiner’s Office, identified ten deaths in 2020 involving overdose of fentanyl and fentanyl combined with other drugs. Uncalculated are those overdose instances that involved medical treatment but did not result in death. Ron Inge, the Chief Investigator for the Medical Examiner’s Office, says there has been an increase in small blue or light green pills stamped with M30 that are surfacing in the county and across the country.
Illicit fentanyl, primarily manufactured in foreign clandestine labs and smuggled into the United States through Mexico, is being distributed nationwide, then sold in the illegal drug market. Fentanyl is being mixed in with other illicit drugs to increase the potency of the drug, sold as powders and nasal sprays, and increasingly pressed into pills made to look like legitimate prescription opioids. Because there is no official oversight or quality control, these counterfeit pills often contain lethal doses of fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid with significantly more powerful effects on the body. Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than Heroin and 100 times stronger than Morphine, by volume. In fact, as little as two milligrams is enough to be fatal for most people.
Governor Abbott recently signed Senate Bill 768 into law that enhances criminal penalties for manufacturing and distributing fentanyl in Texas. While fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are used in prescription drugs, these deadly substances are increasingly being illegally manufactured and distributed alongside—or mixed with—illegal drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine to increase its euphoric effects.
For more information on how The Springboard Center can you help you or a loved one call us at (432) 620-0255 or text PROMISE to 50700.