DEA officials have cautioned the public that Acryl fentanyl has surfaced in Western Pennsylvania, among other areas of the country. This particular strain of fentanyl is said to be resistant to naloxone—the medicine used in emergency opioid overdose cases for revival.
Acryl fentanyl is one of many “designer” compounds of the drug that boasts a terrifying potency, though unlike fentanyl and carfentanil, this strain does not hold any legitimate medical purpose for humans or animals.
This genre of opioids poses new, serious dangers; when an individual cannot be revived by naloxone, the hope for survival diminishes.
DEA officials are now warning of the destruction that Acryl fentanyl is capable of, upon news of its spread throughout Northern states. Pittsburgh news affiliate KDKA reported two deaths associated with the drug, while Columbus, OH news station WCMH also noted the drug’s recent appearance in the Dayton and Miami Valley areas.
“If acryl fentanyl is introduced into the population, it can have devastating effects,” said DEA Special Agent David Battiste.
While it remains unclear why this strain of fentanyl has proved resistant to naloxone, the DEA is aware of the immediate dangers that this potent formula poses to the public.
Naloxone and How It Works
Naloxone (often associated with the brand name Narcan) was first patented in 1961. Over the years, particularly in light of the rising opioid crisis in the United States, the medication has persistently made headlines.
When administered in the event of an opioid overdose, naloxone reverses the effects of poisoning, such as respiratory distress and sedation. The medication can be given via injection or nasal spray.
The State of Florida, among others, have recently called for a standing order of naloxone to be available at pharmacies due to the increased need.
Though with the surge in “designer” opioids—even the powerful reversal effects of naloxone may not suffice.
Due to the similar composition of fentanyl and its derivatives, it is nearly impossible to discern between regular fentanyl in powder form and other, more potent versions such as Acryl fentanyl and carfentanil.
As the nation remains on high alert to these disturbing developments, creating awareness is crucial.
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