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Five West Point Cadets Involved In Florida Fentanyl Overdoses

Drug addiction doesn’t discriminate. And, partially thanks to proliferation of the uber potent drug fentanyl, neither does drug overdose only affect long term drug addicts. A group of students who had rented a vacation home in Wilton Manors, Florida on spring break and appear to have been merely casual users ended up overdosing on the substance after being sold cocaine that was laced with the dangerous opioid. 

Five of the students and four of those hospitalized appear to have been cadets from the U. S Military Academy at West Point, a school renowned for its prominent alumni and high academic and behavioral standards. Officials from the school have stated that they are aware of the situation, but have not commented further beyond the fact that one of those hospitalized was a football player on the school’s team. 

Seven people appear to have been hospitalized due to the incident: the four cadets, two other men, and one woman. Terrifyingly, two of those who needed medical intervention hadn’t even done the drug themself, but started exhibiting symptoms of overdose after attempting to give mouth to mouth resuscitation to the two fellow students who had initially OD’d. 

Fortunately, the police officers who were deployed to the scene were equipped with Narcan, a highly effective opioid overdose-reversing drug, which they immediately utilized to reverse the overdoses and revive the victims. 

Yet though the condition of the others ranges from good to stable, two of those who OD’d are reportedly still in critical condition. The overdoses occurred on Thursday, March 10th, and, as of late Friday, two of these victims were still on ventilators. As of Saturday, March 12, a twenty one year old suspect has been arrested in conjunction with the overdoses, who has been named as Axel Giovany Casseus. 

Due to the highly toxic nature of the drug, a hazmat team was deployed to investigate further. They confirmed that cocaine laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid which is up to 100 times more potent than older opioid morphine and up to 40 times more potent than heroin, was indeed the drug involved. 

Synthetic opioids like fentanyl were reportedly responsible for a full 64 percent of the many overdoses that took place last year. Tragically, a significant portion of those fatalities appear to be cases like these in which victims consumed the potent drug unknowingly, with some who perished even having consumed pills they believed were legitimate and relatively safe prescription drugs that were actually fentanyl counterfeit knockoffs.

And no one seems to be so successful that they’re immune, as indicated by the fentanyl-related deaths of celebrities Prince and Tom Petty, as well as those of members of prominent bands 3 Doors Down and Slipknot. Additionally, in the age group of those from 18-45, fentanyl is actually responsible for more deaths than COVID, just one symptom of the raging addiction crisis that is currently gripping our nation. 

The devastating nature of tragic events like these underlies the necessity of combatting that addiction crisis, but it also underlies the necessity of making harm reduction measures like fentanyl test strips, safe injection sites, and Narcan supplies more accessible.

And, of course, they highlight the fact that anyone who is currently struggling with drug abuse or addiction has absolutely no time to waste in getting help. To learn more about Reco Intensive and how our comprehensive intensive outpatient program can help guide you or your loved one back towards a brighter future, call us today at 844.955.3042 or contact us online anytime here.

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