(NEWS10) – The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched four awareness campaigns aimed at preventing deaths from drug overdose. The campaigns are aimed at young adults between the ages of 18 and 34.
The campaigns educate about fentanyl, drug mixing, naloxone, and people in treatment and recovery. The CDC said that each topic contains resources to help people make informed decisions, get the help they need, and ultimately reduce the rise in overdose and deaths from overdose.
Drug overdoses have claimed nearly 900,000 lives in the United States. The CDC said drugs cost 250 lives every day.
“This critical information can help all of us save lives from an overdose and support people who use drugs for treatment and recovery,” said Debra Houry, MD, MPH, acting assistant director of CDC.
Illegal drugs are stronger and potentially more deadly than ever. Many can be mixed or laced with fentanyl without a person’s knowledge. The CDC said fentanyl, an extremely potent synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and other synthetic opioids contribute to most of the deaths from opioid overdose.
People who use drugs can consume several different substances, and this mixture of drugs can be even more harmful than when they are consumed separately. CDC said that mixing stimulants increases the risk of stroke and heart attacks, while mixing opioids with other sedatives can slow breathing, which can lead to severe brain damage or death.
Naloxone is a life-saving drug that can reverse an opioid overdose. The CDC said that when administered in a timely manner, naloxone can restore normal breathing in a person whose breathing has been slowed or stopped due to opioids, including fentanyl. Anyone can wear naloxone, give it to someone who has an overdose, and potentially save a life.
People in treatment and recovery
One in 14 Americans reports that they have an addiction disorder. However, the stigma surrounding drug use can be a significant barrier to getting help. The CDC said showing compassion for people who use drugs and offering support during their treatment and recovery journey are ways to reduce stigma.
Further information can be found in these campaigns can be found on the CDC website.