Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Play

As the U.S. Supreme Court takes up a high-stakes abortion case, it coincides with divisive arguments over voter fraud, mask mandates and more, and at least three are dead in a Michigan school shooting.

Play

Republican lawmakers say government won't shut down; Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says inflation will last well into next year; and an FDA panel greenlights first pill to treat COVID-19.

Play

South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

Medical Expert: Fake Prescription Pills May Contain Fentanyl

Play

Wednesday, July 28, 2021   

CHICAGO - Overdose deaths in Illinois rose by more than a quarter from 2019 to 2020, and medical experts are warning that pills not prescribed by a doctor may be counterfeit and could contain deadly levels of fentanyl.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a majority of overdose deaths are from opioids and synthetic opioids, and the increase largely is being driven by incidents involving fentanyl, which is 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

Dr. Michael Wahl, medical director of the Illinois Poison Center, said one in four of the fake prescription pills seized and tested by the Drug Enforcement Agency contains potentially fatal amounts of fentanyl.

"What you buy on the streets or online is highly likely not to be what you think you're buying," he said, "and these counterfeit pills, they're actually deadly."

Wahl added that with music festivals coming up in Illinois - Lollapalooza begins tomorrow and Riot Fest is in September - he's concerned about concertgoers buying illicit drugs and overdosing. He urged people to exercise caution.

Wahl said Narcan, or Naloxone, is an important tool; it's a nasal spray to be administered right away when someone overdosing is having breathing problems, unusual sleepiness or is unable to respond while they wait for emergency medical services. At some music events, he said, harm-reduction groups such as DanceSafe also will test pills for more dangerous substances such as fentanyl.

"From a harm-reduction standpoint, if you know people are going to be using prescription drugs, always have Narcan available - just in case, if someone does overdose, that you can potentially reverse the effects of the fentanyl," he said. "The other is to call 911."

Wahl said Illinois' Emergency Medical Services Access Law ensures that people can seek help for overdoses without risking criminal liability. DanceSafe, which has been testing pills since 1999, has seen no members or volunteers be arrested for testing pills, nor have users been arrested for having their pills tested, according to the group's website.


get more stories like this via email
According to an annual survey, 20% of Americans could not name any branches of government. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

FARGO, N.D. -- The U.S. Supreme Court today takes up arguments in a high-stakes abortion case. It coincides with divisive arguments over voter fraud…


Environment

MADISON, Wis. - The Department of Natural Resources wants Wisconsinites to weigh in on its efforts to address chronic wasting disease. The always-…

Social Issues

RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina communities will soon receive funding to preserve green spaces, maintain parks and boost resiliency against the …


Shoppers in Wyoming's historic downtowns can have cookies at Santa's Saloon and kids can deliver letters to Santa via Pony Express. (Visit Cheyenne)

Social Issues

LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Wyoming shoppers choosing to buy gifts at local mom-and-pop stores this holiday season can sample cookies with Mrs. Claus and refuel …

Health and Wellness

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Today marks World AIDS Day, observed internationally to remember those lost to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and raise awareness about the …

Modern-day agriculture is now closely linked with technology, says a dean from Chemeketa Community College. (sodawhiskey/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALEM, Ore. -- A new project with a grant from the federal government aims to invite Hispanic students in Oregon into agriculture and technology …

Social Issues

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Student-loan borrowers have had a reprieve from making payments during the pandemic, but that's set to end in 2022. Starting in …

Environment

HEMET, Calif. -- Public-lands groups are asking Congress to support the proposed Western Riverside County Wildlife Refuge, a 500,000-acre swath …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021