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Fentanyl is top cause of overdose deaths in U.S.

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Fentanyl is now the number one cause of overdose deaths in the country, surpassing heroin by a large margin.  Originally manufactured for pain treatment in cancer patients, the synthetic opioid is about 100 times more potent than morphine, and its illegal use continues to be on the rise across the United States.

Drug overdose deaths in the U.S. increased 28.5% between April 2020 and April 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with three out of four overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids like Fentanyl.

Most of the illicit forms of the drug comes to the U.S. via China and Mexico, and it has found its way to Collin County.

Recently, marijuana laced with Fentanyl showed up in high schools here, resulting in the hospitalization of two students. Fortunately, no one died in these incidents but medical and law enforcement authorities note that more and more street drugs are laced with fentanyl because of its low cost and extreme potency.

More concerning is the fact that such a small amount of Fentanyl can be deadly (see charts). A dosage of 700 micrograms of Fentanyl can kill a user, and amounts above that bring almost certain death.

Collin County Substance Abuse offers free education and adolescent substance abuse evaluations. 

For March and April 2022, they are offering free evaluations to any person identifying as opioid-dependent. 

For more information about Fentanyl or any substances, please contact the Substance Abuse staff at 972-548-5570.