Can You Overdose on Fentanyl from Powder Residue Left in Public Areas?
등록일 2019년 01월 07일 목요일
수정일 2017년 11월 09일 목요일

Photo By Jes2u.photo via Shutterstock

A warning about the dangers of drug residue on shopping carts caused alarm among the public recently but medical experts questioned the claim's accuracy.The Leachville Police Department in Arkansas reminded customers to wipe the handles of their shopping carts before use.This warning comes after the police department's claim that certain drugs like fentanyl can be left behind on shopping carts and can enter your body through contact on skin.

"All you'd have to do is rub your nose or touch your child's mouth.Children just being exposed to the powder or residue is a bad situation that can turn deadly," the police department stated.

One of the founders of the Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery, Chad Sabora, said that someone getting sick, particularly overdosing, from residue on shopping carts is completely impossible.Sabora compared the idealism to the HIV scare back in the 80s when people believed one can get AIDS by sitting on toilet seats.Sabora clarified that such idea can be dangerous to opiate users because it implies discrimination, and that touching an opiate user cannot kill you.

"I never say never, but it is highly, highly, highly unlikely someone could become that systemically ill just from having fentanyl touch their skin.It's not absorbed by just touching it," said Dr.Christopher Hoyte, an associate medical director for the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center.

According to Dr.Hoyte, the only time someone will feel the effects of fentanyl is by breathing it in.Sabora pointed that the powder version of fentanyl is meant to be injected or snorted, and oral absorption of the drug has minimal effect.

The police department linked its claim to the Drug Enforcement Administration on how dangerous this drug can be.

"Fentanyl can kill you.It is 40 to 50 times stronger than street-level heroin.A very small amount ingested or absorbed through your skin can kill you," explained deputy administrator Jack Riley.

The DEA did not deny that possibility of drug exposure via residue on shopping carts.However, the agency emphasized that the manual was strictly meant for law enforcement, not for the public.DEA is still adamant that any exposure to the drug is bad.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is an opioid or narcotic pain medication made available in the early 1970s to be used as an anesthesia.The drug is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine but the designer version can be up to 10,000 times even more potent.In medicine.Fentanyl is used several drug delivery systems:

1.Intravenous fentanyl is often used as analgesic or anesthesia.

2.Fentanyl transdermal patch is used for chronic pain management.

3.Intranasal fentanyl is usually used for children.

4.Abstral or sublingual fentanyl is used to provide rapid onset pain relief.

5.Fentanyl lozenge or lollipop is designed for opioid-tolerant people and effective for breakthrough pain in cancer patients.

Common side effects of fentanyl include shallow breathing, irregular heart rate, stiff muscles, severe weakness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, itching, sweating, and high blood pressure.Do not forget to discuss to your doctor about certain conditions you may have, such as any type of breathing problem or lung disorder, history of head injury or brain tumor, any kind of liver and kidney disease, and slow heartbeat.

You also need to tell your doctor about the medications you are taking or you had taken to ensure your safety.Medications used to treat depression, mental illness, and Parkinsons's disease can cause adverse effects upon interaction with fentanyl.Sedatives like Valium and monoamine oxidase inhibitors may cause problems if taken with fentanyl.

Fentanyl Administration

Fentanyl may be considered if a true allergic reaction to morphine occurs.Frequent administration of fentanyl is not recommended unless directed by your doctor.

1.For adults with chronic pain, fentanyl is delivered via a transdermal patch for opioid-tolerant patients to reduce the risk of respiratory depression, slow, or ineffective breathing.

2.For adults with breakthrough pain, fentanyl may be administered as lozenges, nasal sprays, sublingual tablets, or buccal tablets.

3.For adults with general pain, fentanyl is usually administered via the transdermal system and can only be given via drug dosage in hospitals.

4.For adults with scheduled operations, fentanyl is given as a premedication for anesthesia with the initial dosage from 50 to 100 microgram intramuscular, 30 to 60 minutes before surgery.

Photo By designer491 via Shutterstock

5.For children with scheduled operations, fentanyl must be continuously measured and adjusted for appropriate effects.Intravenous and intranasal drug delivery systems are the most common methods to administer fentanyl to children for surgical procedures.

6.For children with pain, fentanyl still requires continuous monitoring to ensure appropriate effects.The drug may be administered via intravenous, intranasal, or transdermal patch delivery systems.

Additional Information

- Iceland, Estonia, and the United States are the top three countries with the highest overdose and drug-related death rates in the world.

- El Salvador, Uruguay, Canada, Australia, Finland, Seychelles, and Russia are the other six countries of the top ten nations with the highest overdose and drug-related deaths in the world.

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