Fentanyl is number one on Americans’ minds. “In second place on the list of public health problems was obesity. Meanwhile, the threat of people’s access to guns faded to third place on the list, with 20% of people citing the concern, down from 26% who cited guns as a public health threat in May. Cancer trailed in fourth place, with 11% of people mentioning the disease.” — WebMD
““We’re finding that six out of every 10 pills have a deadly amount of fentanyl…It only takes two milligrams to kill somebody.” — DEA
“Drug overdose death rates were higher in 2021 than in 2020 for all age groups 25 and over.” Although the rates for seniors were lower, the percentages were higher. — CDC
On Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16, 2023, a powerful movement unfolded in front of the California Attorney General’s office in Los Angeles, as groups from all across Southern California gathered for the Father’s Against Fentanyl rally and press conference. Led by the passionate advocate Matt Capelouto, parents and loved ones who have tragically lost family members to fentanyl poisoning came together to shed light on the devastating impact of the fentanyl crisis. Their urgent plea was directed at California Attorney General Rob Bonta, himself a father, to take decisive action in addressing the fentanyl epidemic.
Raising Awareness and Demanding Action
The Father’s Against Fentanyl rally on Father’s Day was a poignant and symbolic event. Grieving parents and their allies stood united, sharing their personal stories of loss and emphasizing the critical need for effective measures to combat the fentanyl epidemic. Their heartfelt appeals echoed the experiences of countless families devastated by this deadly drug, magnifying the urgency for action.
During the rally, representatives from various news organizations attended the press conference and conducted interviews with participants. Among those sharing their insights and experiences was Shane Wood, the Director of Development at FentanylSolution.org. The organization, known for its unwavering commitment to combating the fentanyl crisis, joined Matt Capelouto and his organization DrugInducedHomicide.org, has been a leading force in raising awareness, advocating for policy changes, and supporting affected families.
Both organizations have played a crucial role in providing vital resources and information to educate communities about the dangers of fentanyl. Their websites serve as a comprehensive platform offering facts, statistics, and guidance on recognizing and responding to fentanyl-related risks. Through their initiatives, FentanylSolution.org has worked tirelessly to empower individuals and foster dialogue on this pressing issue.
Addressing the Fentanyl Crisis
The prevalence of fentanyl-related deaths has reached alarming levels in recent years, not only in Southern California but across the United States. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is significantly more potent than heroin and morphine, poses a severe threat to public health. Its presence in illicit drug markets has led to a surge in overdose fatalities, leaving families devastated and communities in turmoil.
To effectively combat the fentanyl crisis, a comprehensive and coordinated approach is necessary. This includes increasing penalties for drug traffickers who kill with illicit fentanyl. FentanylSolution.org, along with other dedicated organizations and community activists, advocates for these measures and urges policymakers, including California Attorney General Rob Bonta, to take decisive action.
The Role of California Attorney General Rob Bonta
Rob Bonta, the California Attorney General and a father himself, holds a position of influence and responsibility in addressing the fentanyl crisis. As the state’s top law enforcement officer, he plays a vital role in shaping policies and directing resources to combat the epidemic. The Father’s Against Fentanyl rally urged Attorney General Bonta to prioritize this urgent issue, employing his authority and influence to drive meaningful change.
Additionally, Assemblywoman Mia Bonta, Rob Bonta’s wife, serves on the Assembly Public Safety Committee, which plays a crucial role in shaping legislation related to public safety, including penalties for fentanyl-related offenses. The rally participants expressed concern about the committee’s lack of progress in passing bills with penalties, highlighting the urgent need for action and collaboration across all levels of government.
The Father’s Against Fentanyl rally on Father’s Day was a powerful demonstration of the collective determination to combat the fentanyl crisis and protect communities from the devastating consequences of this lethal drug. Led by Matt Capelouto and supported by FentanylSolution.org, grieving parents and loved ones came together, sharing their stories and intensifying the call for tangible action.
As the fight against fentanyl continues, it is crucial for organizations like FentanylSolution.org to provide essential resources, engage the public, and advocate for policy changes. Together, with the leadership of California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the collective efforts of policymakers, community activists, and affected families, we can forge a path towards a future free from the grip of this deadly epidemic.
The 2023 Orange County Crime Victims’ Ceremony was held in Santa Ana, California where there was a focus on fentanyl victims. The event was held to honor and remember those who have lost their lives as victims of crime. Many who attended the ceremony held photos of their lost loved ones and those honoring fentanyl victims wore lavender ribbons.
Matt Capelouto, whose daughter was murdered by a fentanyl dealer who sold her a counterfeit pill, spoke at the event and talked about how he wishes he didn’t have to be there. He expressed his frustration about bills getting stuck in committee in Sacramento and how the bill named after his daughter, Alexandra, aka SB44, would have passed on the house floor with 21 votes if it weren’t for partisan politics. He also announced FentanylSolution.org’s Poll-to-Prop initiative, which aims to take the vote to the people if legislators in Sacramento won’t do their job. Click the link here to view the video – https://youtube.com/shorts/wCycXyjau44.
Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid that has become a significant public health concern in recent years. Its impact has been devastating, leading to countless deaths and causing immeasurable pain to families and communities. The Orange County Crime Victims’ Ceremony serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing crime at large, including fentanyl, and the need for policy changes to prevent further harm.
FentanylSolution.org is an organization that is working to fight against the Fentanyl crisis. Through education, awareness, and advocacy, they hope to increase understanding of the dangers of Fentanyl and promote policy changes that focus on harm reduction and prevention. Our $2.2 million Poll-to-Prop ballot initiatives would give drug dealers longer prison sentences for murdering people with fentanyl. To donate to this initiative, email info@FentanylSolution.org for more information.
In a recent interview with Fox 5 San Diego, Janice M. Celeste, the President and CEO of FentanylSolution.org, discusses the ongoing fentanyl crisis and the steps we are taking to fight against it. Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, has become a growing concern in recent years due to its devastating impact on public health.
Janice begins by explaining that fentanyl is a significant concern in California and in the United States, where drug overdose rates have been on the rise. She continues to explain that fentanyl has become so prevalent in illicit drug markets that many people are unknowingly consuming it.
Janice further elaborates on the dangers of fentanyl and how it has become a threat to public health. She explains that fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs, making it difficult for people to know what they are consuming.
To combat the fentanyl crisis, Janice and her organization, FentanylSolution.org, take a multi-faceted approach that involves education, awareness, and advocacy. She highlights the need to educate people about the risks of fentanyl and the dangers of consuming drugs from unknown sources.
In addition to education and awareness, Janice and her organization advocate for policy changes to tackle the fentanyl crisis. FentanylSolution.org has a ballot measure in process that imposes stricter penalties for drug dealers who kill users with fentanyl.
The fentanyl crisis is a significant concern for public health, and Janice and FentanylSolution.org, are working hard to fight against it. Through education, awareness, and advocacy, we hope to increase understanding of the dangers of fentanyl and promote policy changes. By working together, we can combat the fentanyl crisis and protect our communities from its devastating impact.
You can watch the news clip in its entirety here – https://youtu.be/qgy0y7LJxkM.
On February 15, 2023, the U.S. Senate convened a hearing on illicit fentanyl where a panel and lawmakers discussed the issue along with possible international strategies to combat the growing epidemic.
Along with a panel comprised of Anne Milgram, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Dr. Raul Gupta, the Director of the National Drug Control Policy, and Secretary Todd Robinson, the Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, 14 senators from various states including, Ted Cruz (TX), Cory Booker (NJ), Tim Scott (SC), Jim Risch (ID), Chris Murphy (CT), Pete Ricketts (NE), Ben Cardin (MD), Bill Hagerty (TN), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Tim Kaine (VA), Jeff Merkley (OR), Todd Young (IN) and Chris Van Holen (MD), and the chairman of the hearing, Bob Menendez (NJ) worked to get a grasp on the reasons behind the soaring overdose rates and ongoing fentanyl epidemic.
Milgram stated that in 2021, 100k Americans overdosed and that 70 percent of those overdoses were from fentanyl poisoning. She continued by saying that from August 2021 to August 2022, 107,735 American lives were lost to drug poisonings. At the end of last year, the DEA seized 57 million fake fentanyl pills, which was 13 thousand pounds of fentanyl that equaled 410 million deadly doses, according to Milgram. That is more than enough to kill every citizen in the United States and still have almost one million pills left over.
“From August 2021 to August 2022, 107,735 American lives were lost to drug poisonings.”
The head of the DEA also stated that social media is not doing enough to curb sales of fentanyl-laced pills, when young users can get access to drugs with just four to five clicks. She called social media a “superhighway for drugs.” Her testimony was poignant. When asked why the cartel would use deadly fentanyl in fake pills, she told the Senate that it’s to get their customers hooked since fentanyl is highly addictive, 50 times more addictive than heroin and 100 times more addictive than morphine. “If a user dies, it’s the cost of doing business,” Milgram said from the cartels’ point of view. If one person dies from a social media sale, there are millions more they can sell to, she said.
Closing the southern border was also discussed at the hearing since 90 percent of fentanyl is transported through ports of entry. That point was muted when Senator Booker quoted the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, who was not present at the hearing, as stating that almost all of the fentanyl seizures at the border were not trafficked by migrants, but by Americans. There was also a bipartisan push to put more pressure on China to do more to stop the import of materials used in making illicit fentanyl; and for Mexico to disband the two main cartels, the Sinaloa and the Jalisco, who make and distribute most of the fake fentanyl-laced pills that make their way into the United States.
You can watch the hearing, which is more than two-hours long, on C-Span, here Government Officials Testify on Fentanyl Trafficking | C-SPAN.org.What Parents Must Know About Fentanyl
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is estimated to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is a powerful and highly addictive drug that is responsible for a significant portion of the opioid epidemic that has swept across the United States and other countries. The drug is commonly used in medical settings as a strong pain reliever and anesthetic, but it is also frequently used recreationally or hidden, unbeknownst to the user, in illicit pills that teens can purchase from the internet. The dangers of overdosing on fentanyl are significant, and as a parent, it is important to be aware of the signs of use and what to look for.
Why Should I Be Concerned?
I know what you’re thinking, my child would never do this. And I can tell you that almost every parent who has buried their child from fentanyl poisoning, has said the same thing. Their child wasn’t a bad kid, they took a fake pill from a friend or found it online. Children as young as 11 have found these pills on the internet and have succumbed to them.
Fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs including cocaine and methamphetamines to enhance their effects, but most teens think they are taking a Percocet™, Xanax™, Oxycodone™, an Adderall™ or similar pill. Many of these illicit fentanyl-laced pills are pressed in someone’s garage or basement and the fake pills are almost impossible to detect from the authentic pills. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) “has found that, of the fentanyl-laced fake…pills analyzed in 2022, six out of ten now contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl.” Children who find these pills on Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media are essentially being poisoned to death. The statistics have grown and the unfortunate familiar scenario of parents waking up to find their children deceased in their rooms has increased too.
“I know what you’re thinking, my child would never do this.”
According to the CDC, more than 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The signs of fentanyl poisoning can be difficult to spot.
However, some common symptoms to watch for include:
- Slow breathing or cessation of breathing
- Extreme drowsiness or unconsciousness
- Confusion or disorientation
- Nausea or vomiting
- Constricted (very small) pupils
- Cold and clammy skin
To help prevent your child from using fentanyl or other opioids, it is important to have open and honest conversations about drug use and the dangers of fentanyl. Encourage your child to seek help if they are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, and make sure they are aware of the resources available to them, such as rehabilitation programs, support groups, and mental health services. Don’t wait. Get help right away.
Where To Get Lifesaving Narcan
The dangers of fentanyl are significant, and as a parent, it is important to be aware of the signs of use and what to look for. If you suspect that your child is using the drug, seek help immediately. By educating yourself and your child, you can help protect them from the dangers of this powerful and super addictive substance.
If you suspect that your child is using fentanyl, it is important to seek help immediately. In cases of overdose, the drug can cause a person to stop breathing, leading to death within minutes. Naloxone, a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, can be life-saving in these situations. Parents of teen children should keep Narcan (the brand name for Naloxone) in their first aid kit at home and learn how to use it. Schools are stocking up on Narcan and are keeping it in nurses’ offices.
Free Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, can be obtained from several sources. Here are a few places where people can find free Narcan:
- Pharmacies: Many pharmacies, including CVS and Walgreens, offer free Narcan without a prescription. You can call your local pharmacy to see if they participate in this program.
- Health Departments: Many local health departments, such as county health departments, provide free Narcan to those in need. You can contact your local health department for more information.
- Community Organizations: Some community organizations, such as harm reduction organizations and substance abuse treatment centers, offer free Narcan to those at risk of opioid overdose.
- Overdose Prevention Programs: Many cities and states have established overdose prevention programs that provide free Narcan to those at risk of opioid overdose.
- Online Programs: Some online programs, such as the Naloxone Distribution Partnership, offer free Narcan kits through the mail.
It is important to note that laws and availability may vary by state, so it is best to check with local organizations for more information on where to obtain free Narcan. In the event of an overdose, every second counts, so having Narcan on hand can be a lifesaving tool.Fentanyl: A Growing Threat to Public Health in the U.S.
Fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid, has emerged as a major public health threat in the United States. The drug is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and has been linked to a growing number of overdose deaths across the country. According to nationwide statistics from 2022, the number of fentanyl-related overdose deaths has continued to rise, posing a significant challenge to public health officials and law enforcement agencies. Fentanyl is currently the number one killer of 18-to-45-year-olds, more than car accidents and COVID-19 (CDC).
The Rise Of Fentanyl
The rise of fentanyl can be traced back to the opioid epidemic, which began in the early 2000s with the widespread prescription of opioid painkillers. Over time, many people who became addicted to prescription opioids turned to cheaper and more readily available street drugs, including heroin and fentanyl. Today, fentanyl is one of the most common drugs involved in opioid overdoses, and its use has become a major contributor to the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States.
Deaths Are Increasing
In 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there were over 47,000 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in the United States, a significant increase from the previous year. This represents a staggering 67% of all opioid overdose deaths, making fentanyl the deadliest opioid in the country. The drug is particularly concerning because it is often mixed with other substances, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, increasing the risk of overdose.
The impact of fentanyl on communities across the United States has been significant. The drug is often sold on the black market and can be easily obtained, leading to widespread use and abuse. In addition, the potency of fentanyl makes it difficult to treat overdoses, and many people die within minutes of taking the drug.
What Is Being Done
In response to the growing threat of fentanyl, public health officials and law enforcement agencies have taken a number of steps to try and combat the drug’s spread. These measures include increased education and outreach efforts, improved access to addiction treatment and naloxone (a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose), and increased enforcement of laws and regulations aimed at preventing the illegal distribution of fentanyl.
Despite these efforts, the rise of fentanyl continues to pose a significant challenge to public health in the United States. To address this issue, it will be important to continue investing in education and outreach efforts, increasing access to addiction treatment, and taking steps to prevent the illegal distribution of the drug.
In addition to the growing use of illicit fentanyl, another major concern is the increasing prevalence of counterfeit pills containing the drug. These fake pills are often made to look like other prescription medications, such as Xanax or OxyContin, and are sold on the black market to unsuspecting consumers.
These counterfeit pills are particularly dangerous because they often contain unpredictable and potentially deadly amounts of fentanyl. The potency of the drug means that even a small amount can be fatal, and many people who take these fake pills are unaware of the danger they are putting themselves in.
According to nationwide statistics from 2022, the number of overdose deaths related to counterfeit pills containing fentanyl has increased dramatically in recent years. In many cases, these deaths have occurred in people who thought they were taking a different medication and were not aware that they were consuming fentanyl.
The rise of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl highlights the importance of using only medication obtained from a reputable source. It also underscores the need for continued efforts to crack down on the illegal production and distribution of these fake pills, as well as increased public education and outreach efforts aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of counterfeit drugs.
The increasing prevalence of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl is a growing public health concern in the United States. These fake pills are putting unsuspecting people at risk of overdose and death, and it is essential that steps are taken to prevent their spread and increase public awareness of the dangers they pose. To address this issue, it will be important to take a comprehensive approach that includes education, improved access to addiction treatment, and increased enforcement of laws and regulations aimed at preventing the spread of the drug.5 Things To Do If A Friend Is Overdosing
What Does An Overdose Look Like
A fentanyl overdose can have a range of symptoms, and the severity of the symptoms can depend on the amount of the drug taken, the person’s tolerance to the drug, and other factors such as their overall health. Some common signs of a fentanyl overdose include:
- Respiratory depression: One of the most dangerous effects of a fentanyl overdose is respiratory depression, which can lead to shallow breathing, slow breathing, or stopped breathing.
- Extreme drowsiness or unconsciousness: A person who has taken a large amount of fentanyl may become extremely drowsy or lose consciousness.
- Pale or blue skin: A fentanyl overdose can reduce the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream, which can cause the skin to appear pale or blue, particularly around the lips and fingernails.
- Pinpoint pupils: The pupils may become very small, a condition known as pinpoint pupils.
- Cold, clammy skin: The skin may feel cold and clammy to the touch, which can be a sign of decreased circulation.
- Slow or irregular pulse: The heartbeat may become slow or irregular, which can be a sign of cardiac problems.
- Nausea and vomiting: A person who has taken a large amount of fentanyl may experience nausea and vomiting.
- Seizures: Seizures can occur in severe cases of fentanyl overdose.
If you witness a friend who is using drugs and your friend overdoses, it is important to take immediate action to save their life.
What Should I Do
- Call for emergency medical assistance: Call 911 or your local emergency medical services immediately. An overdose can quickly become life-threatening, and it is essential to get medical treatment as soon as possible to avoid serious harm or death. Be prepared to provide the operator with the location of the overdose, the symptoms the person is experiencing, and any information about the drugs they have taken.
- Administer naloxone: If you have naloxone (also known as Narcan), a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose, administer it as directed. Naloxone is available over the counter in some jurisdictions and can be easily administered through a nasal spray or injection.
- Stay with the person: Stay with the person until emergency medical services arrive. Provide comfort and support, and try to keep them awake and alert. You are protected by the Good Samaritan laws and will not be prosecuted for helping someone. If you leave and your friend dies, you are at risk for prosecution.
- Provide information: Provide emergency medical services with any information you have about the drugs the person has taken, including the type of drug, the amount taken, and the time it was taken. This information can help emergency medical services provide the best possible treatment.
- Cooperate with emergency medical services: When emergency medical services arrive, cooperate with them to ensure the person receives the best possible care.
Will Good Samaritan Laws Protect Me
It is important to remember that Good Samaritan laws are in place to encourage individuals to assist in a medical emergency, including a drug overdose. In many jurisdictions, these laws provide immunity from prosecution for minor drug offenses, such as possession of a controlled substance, when someone calls for emergency services in response to a drug overdose.
“If you witness a fentanyl overdose, it is important to take action, provide assistance, and call for emergency medical assistance to save the life of the person in need, rather than running away from the scene.”
In some cases, if an individual runs away from the scene of an overdose and does not take any steps to provide assistance or call for help, they could face charges for the person’s death, such as manslaughter or criminal negligence.
Therefore, it is crucial to understand the specific provisions of Good Samaritan laws in your jurisdiction and to take appropriate steps to provide assistance in a medical emergency, such as a drug overdose. Running away from the scene of an overdose can increase the risk of the person dying, and it can also put you at risk of criminal prosecution. The goal of these laws is to encourage individuals to take action and provide assistance in a life-threatening situation, so it is important to not be afraid and to take appropriate steps to save the life of the person in need.
If you witness a fentanyl overdose, it is important to take action and provide assistance, or call for emergency medical assistance, to save the life of the person in need, rather than running away from the scene. Call for emergency medical assistance, administer naloxone if available, stay with the person, provide information, and cooperate with emergency medical services to ensure the best possible outcome. By taking these steps, you can help save the life of a friend and ensure they receive the care they need.