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Everyone at risk from fentanyl epidemic

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 20:56:24-04

EL PASO COUNTY — Fentanyl is getting so much attention because it is so dangerous. “Just a very tiny amount of fentanyl can be lethal,” said Dr. Stein Bronsky with Centura Emergency Medicine. Health providers and first responders deal with the deadly consequences of the issue.

Fentanyl has legitimate purpose in a hospital. On the streets doctors call it deadly. “People really do need to understand just how prevalent this problem is and that it’s out there surrounding us all over, and a lot of people are not aware of it,” said Bronsky.

The prevalence of fentanyl and other opioids requires police, fire, paramedics and ambulance service worker to be extra cautious. A patient who ingests an opioid is not necessarily a threat, The heightened concern is any remnants of the drug. They do not want to touch their mouth, nose or eyes. They wear equipment to guard against exposure. “Protective measures like a mask and gloves,” said Bronsky.

Narcan, is now a standard tool for first responders. “The first line treatment for a potential opioid overdose, which includes fentanyl is Narcan.”

Dr Bronsky said the issue is not just about opioid abusers. People of any age, from any neighborhood, any income bracket, all need to be aware it is a deadly threat. “Because opioid overdose, like fentanyl are a one time bang and done…as far as using it and dying.”

Fentanyl related deaths for 2022 are up in Colorado. It is the same for people needing emergency treatment. The amount of fentanyl seized in the first five months of 2022 is more than all of 2021.

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