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Fentanyl Awareness Education and Free Resources

By   /  May 14, 2024  /  No Comments

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Vista, CA – Vista Community Clinic (VCC) is offering free-of-charge educational opportunities and harm reduction resources to raise awareness about illicit fentanyl and prevent overdoses.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that binds to the brain’s opioid receptors, which are found in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions. It is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S.

In 2022, there were 1,226 accidental overdose deaths, and Fentanyl accounted for 70% of those deaths.

Fentanyl is commonly mixed with drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine and made into pills that resemble other prescription opioids. It can be nearly impossible to tell the difference between prescription pills and counterfeit pills just by looking.

Illicit fentanyl, methamphetamine, and other harmful drugs are now commonly marketed and sold on social media apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. It is important for parents and guardians to educate themselves and their children about the potential dangers of social media interactions and monitor their children’s online activity.

VCC provides community education forums, in English and Spanish, about the impacts of fentanyl and other drugs. In addition to providing an array of resources, VCC is now able to provide fentanyl test strips and naloxone.

Overdoses are preventable. With the right tools, bystanders can act to prevent overdose deaths. Anyone can carry naloxone and give it to someone experiencing an overdose; potentially saving a life. Naloxone is a lifesaving medication, than can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose, if administered right away. However, it is still important to call 911 for assistance, since more than one dose of naloxone may be necessary, along with breathing support and other emergency care.

For information on obtaining naloxone or to request a training on drug prevention and education in the cities of Carlsbad, Oceanside, and Vista, contact Carina Esquivel at carina.esquivel@vcc.org.

Information on substance use and medication assisted treatment can be found on the Substance Use and Overdose Prevention Taskforce website at https://www.suopt.org/treatment.

Resources and services are available to assist with screening, treatment, and recovery for individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD). The Access and Crisis Line is open year-round, 24/7, at (888)724-7240.

Funded by the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency

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