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Borger PD: Beware the danger of Fentanyl abuse

December 28, 2011

The Borger Police Department is wanting to make local citizens aware of the adverse side effects of a prescription pain patch that has resulted in the death of a local citizen.
Lt. Anthony Griffin said that earlier this month, the department responded to the death of a 29-year-old male, who appeared to have been abusing the pain patch Fentanyl.
“It appeared as though the man had been smoking portions of the medicated pain patch at the time of his death,” he said. “The man was found deceased in his home by a family member.”
After initial investigation into the death, evidence was present that the man, who was not identified, had been abusing the prescription patch at the time of his death.
Lt. Griffin said he wants the public to be aware of just how dangerous a drug Fentanyl can be if used for the wrong reasons.
The drug is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine. The patch is used in chronic pain management. It works by releasing fentanyl into body fats, which then slowly releases the drug into the bloodstream over 48 to 72 hours, allowing for long-lasting relief from pain.
The use of fentanyl has caused death. Because the effects of the drug last for only a very short time, regular users can become addicted quickly. The drug is also known for being hundreds of times more potent than street heroin, and can produce much worse respiratory depression, making it more dangerous than heroin to users.
Fentanyl is normally sold on the black market in the form of transdermal fentanyl patches such as Duragesic, diverted from legitimate medical supplies. Non-medical use of fentanyl by individuals without opiate tolerance can be dangerous and has resulted in death. Even those with a tolerance for opiates are at high risk for overdoses. Once the drug is in the user’s system, it is very difficult to stop its course because of the nature in which it is absorbed into the body.
For more information, call the Borger Police Department at 273-0900.

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