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In New York, fentanyl replaces heroin

More than 80% of drug users in NY use fentanyl, the powerful synthetic opioid responsible for the dramatic increase in overdose fatal in USAbut only 18% do it voluntarily, according to a study released on Wednesday that underscores the dangers of addiction to the product.

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The opioid crisis is one of the number one public health problems in USA and of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorized the over-the-counter sale of a antidote To avoid overdose caused by fentanyl, Narcan (naloxone).

Manufactured in laboratories and with lower costs than heroin, the fentanyl It has flooded the US drug market for years and has caused some 70,000 overdose deaths in 2022 out of a total of 106,000 registered in the United States, which constitutes a record.

Although the “overwhelming majority” of the people questioned for the study said their “major” drug was heroin, these “seem to have little means of avoiding the fentanylexplained its author, Courtney McKnightprofessor and clinical assistant of epidemiology at the York University School of Global Public Health.

For the results, published Wednesday in the International Journal of Drug PolicyThe team of McKnight performed toxicological analyzes with a sample of 313 drug userswho answered a questionnaire at the same time, and 162 of them responded to more in-depth interviews, between October 2021 and December 2022.

As a result, 83% of the participants tested positive for fentanylwith or without heroin. But “Only 18% said they had recently used the fentanyl intentionally”added the results of the study,

For Courtney McKnightthe danger is greater fentanyl addictionwhich is much more powerful than the heroinand therefore an increased risk of overdose.

New york It has seen the number of fatal overdoses skyrocket in recent years, from 942 in 2015 to 2,668 in 2021.

“Almost everyone in our study said they were concerned about a overdosethe expert told AFP. According to answers obtainednearly one in four users had overdosed at least once in the six months prior to work.

Source: Elcomercio

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