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Thursday, May 6, 2021

WESTERN WELLNESS: FENTANYL

Dance fever, goodfella, jackpot and murder 8 are just some of the names fentanyl can go by.

Fentanyl is comparable to many other opioid drugs like morphine and heroin. The drug can be used to treat patients with severe pain, yet, recent cases of drug overdoses involving fentanyl involve the drug being created in illegal laboratories.

The Drug Enforcement Administration states that while fentanyl is a prescription medication, it is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is typically used for its intense euphoric effects.

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that illegally made fentanyl cannot be distinguished from prescription fentanyl after death. The report continues by stating that drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids nearly doubled from 2013 to 2014. Those statistics included both prescription fentanyl and illegally made fentanyl.

Here is a video about one user’s experience with the drug:

While the drug has already been found around the Washington area, KOMO News reported that law enforcement is concerned about the arrival of fentanyl in Seattle.

According to the same article, the Drug Enforcement Administration said agents have shut down two fentanyl labs in the Seattle area in four years, with the most recent case occurring a few weeks ago.

Scott Martinez is the risk reduction specialist for Western’s Alcohol & Other Drug Consultation and Assessment Services. He said the center usually doesn’t see students come in to discuss more addictive drugs like heroin and morphine.

Martinez said the goal of ADCAS is to provide a safe, nonjudgmental and confidential space for students to come, explore and discuss various alcohol and other drug issues they may be experiencing.

ADCAS works closely with Western’s counseling and the health centers.

Counseling Center Director Shari Robinson said the centers have an internal referral process and meet once a week to discuss shared clients and patients to create a better continuum of care and to make sure they are not duplicating services.

Robinson said the counseling center offers individual and group counseling, yet because of its small size, the center has to put parameters around how many sessions a student can attend.

For more information about any of the services offered on campus, please contact the centers mentioned.

Hanna Brown, “Western Wellness” reporter. // Photo by Ian Koppe
Hanna Brown, “Western Wellness” reporter. // Photo by Ian Koppe

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