Springboard Center sees rise in drugs laced with fentanyl

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MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar)- The Springboard Center has noticed a fast-rising trend in clients coming into detox and testing positive for fentanyl. 

The majority of those seeking treatment didn’t know the drugs they were buying were laced with the dangerous and unregulated drug.

“We’ve noticed recently with our screenings for people that are entering treatment, that fentanyl being present in their screening analysis is both prevalent, it’s up about 25 percent, but at the same time, it’s also a surprise,” said Executive Director Dr. Mark Alexander. “They didn’t realize that fentanyl was part of what they were being introduced to when they were buying their drugs. Heroin is being cut, cocaine is being cut, a variety of drugs are being cut synthetically created fentanyl.”

Recently, a person familiar to the Center died from a lethal dose of fentanyl, mixed in with the methamphetamine being consumed.

“If only the person could have obtained assistance from the Center and avoided an untimely and unnecessary death. This tragedy doesn`t need to become another person`s reality,” Alexander said.

Earlier this year, the Ector County Medical Examiner`s Office, said it identified ten deaths in 2020 involving overdose of fentanyl and fentanyl combined with other drugs. Uncalculated are those overdose instances that involved medical treatment but did not result in death. 

Ron Inge, the Chief Investigator for the Medical Examiner`s Office, says there has been an increase in small blue or light green pills stamped with M30 that are surfacing in the county and across the country.

Fentanyl is being mixed in with other illicit drugs to increase the potency of the drug, sold as powders and nasal sprays, and increasingly pressed into pills made to look like legitimate prescription opioids. Because there is no official oversight or quality control, these counterfeit pills often contain lethal doses of fentanyl.

As the dangerous trend continues through the country, the Springboard Center says anyone wanting help with addiction is encouraged to visit their website, or text the word SBC to the number 50700, for more information on their programs. 

“If you’re concerned about your drug use, if you have a loved one that you’re concerned about in terms of drug use or alcoholism, the Springboard Center exists for treatment.”

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