This Thanksgiving week The High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program, partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Virgin Islands National Guard (VING) Counterdrug Unit and hosted a half-day of training today on prescription drug and Fentanyl abuse, according to U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert.
A group of over 40 law enforcement officers from 12 different local and federal law enforcement agencies all participated in the training courses. The main goal of this week’s training was to identify not only the dangers to the first responder community of being exposed to Fentanyl but also to highlight the resources available locally to support law enforcement. Along with the potential gaps in traditional protective services for first responders. Caribbean Region DEA Tactical Diversion Squad instructors detail the problems with the diversion of prescription drugs and hazards of Fentanyl abuse.
The opioid crisis has reshaped the way America handles prescription medication and overdose deaths. The rate at which law enforcement encounters Fentanyl is continuing to grow and poses a huge issue due to the highly toxic effects it has. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine.
Pharmaceutical fentanyl was first used to handle chronic pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied by patches on the skin. However, because of its powerful opioid effects, Fentanyl is also used to get high and has a high risk of abuse and addiction.
The drug has been associated with drug rings and cartels coming in from Mexico. Clandestinely-produced fentanyl is primarily manufactured in Mexico. The drug is usually added to heroin or cocaine to increase its potency and maximizes profit. Many users are unaware their drugs contain Fentanyl when they are purchased which can lead to overdose and death.
A statement made by Shappert state, “Fentanyl abuse and prescription drug abuse are growing problems in the Caribbean region, we are grateful that our law enforcement partners in the USVI are taking the initiative to get out in front of the problem.”
According to National Institute of Drug Abuse, “Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.”
The Recover is an unbiased substance abuse and mental health news provider. Helping individuals looking for the right treatment programs in their area. Also providing information on Virginia drug rehab centers for addiction recovery. For more information on Fentanyl and prescription drug abuse, please visit The Recover website
Author: Mckenzie Santa Maria
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