(NEWS10) – The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched four education campaigns aimed at preventing drug overdose deaths. The campaigns are targeted at young adults ages 18 to 34.
The campaigns provide information about fentanyl, mixing drugs, naloxone, and people in treatment and recovery. The CDC said each topic includes resources to help people make informed decisions, get the help they need, and ultimately reduce the rise in drug overdoses and overdose deaths.
Drug overdoses have claimed nearly 900,000 lives in the United States. The CDC said drugs take 250 lives everyday.
“This critical information can help all of us save a life from overdose and support people who use drugs in treatment and recovery,” said Debra Houry, MD, MPH, acting principal deputy director of CDC.
Illegal drugs are more potent and potentially lethal than ever before. Many can be mixed or laced with fentanyl without a person’s knowledge. The CDC said fentanyl, an extremely powerful synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine, and other synthetic opioids contribute to most opioid-involved overdose deaths.
People who use drugs may use multiple different substances, and this mixing of drugs can be even more harmful than when they are used separately. CDC said mixing stimulants increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, while mixing opioids with other depressants can slow breathing, which may lead to severe brain damage or death.
Naloxone is a life-saving medicine that can reverse an opioid overdose. The CDC said naloxone can restore normal breathing to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped due to opioids, including fentanyl, if given in time. Anyone can carry naloxone, give it to someone experiencing an overdose, and potentially save a life.
People in treatment and recovery
One in 14 Americans report experiencing a substance use disorder. However, the stigma related to using drugs 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 help reduce stigma.
More information included in these campaigns can be found on the CDC website.