In California and nationally, there has been a rise in deaths associated with fentanyl poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2021 alone, 80,816 people died in the U.S. of overdoses that primarily involved fentanyl, commonly added as a filler to other drug substances, unknown to the buyer, which results in many unintentional fatal overdoses.
To deal with this crisis, Huntington Health, an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai, recently launched a free fentanyl education program for the community. Huntington-affiliated emergency department physician Ted Peck, MD, and clinical pharmacist specialist Evan Adintori, PharmD, BCPS, and its community outreach team are spearheading the program, which offers free seminars to parents at local schools, and to the public at community centers and libraries.
The seminars cover the dangers of fentanyl, the pervasiveness of the drug in the community and what to do if someone overdoses. They also provide information about Narcan, a nasal spray used to reverse or reduce the effects of opioids. Training for administering Narcan for a fentanyl poisoning is offered as well.
“Fentanyl poisoning poses a unique challenge because its consequences are immediate and often lethal. Although overdose deaths are not a new entity, the sudden, unexpected and abrupt manner in which fentanyl takes life is concerning to say the least. As a hospital that has been a part of this community for multiple generations, we would like to be directly involved with helping Pasadena families navigate this challenging situation,” said Dr. Peck.
“Accidental fentanyl overdose deaths nationally have become the number one killer of 18-to 45-year-old people, surpassing deaths from car accidents, gun violence, heart disease and COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” said Eric Handler, MD, Interim Health Officer, City of Pasadena. “Education is a key component in addressing this epidemic.”
If you are interested in learning more about the fentanyl crisis and how to administer Narcan, please attend a free session listed below.
Fentanyl seminar dates, times and locations:
- Saturday, January 28, 11 a.m., Lamanda Park Branch Library, 140 S. Altadena Dr., Pasadena
- Saturday, February 11, 11 a.m., Linda Vista Branch Library, 1281 Bryant St., Pasadena
- Saturday, February 25, 11 a.m., Santa Catalina Branch Library, 999 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena
- Saturday, March 11, 11 a.m., Altadena Library, 600 E. Mariposa Ave., Altadena
- Saturday, April 15, 1:30 p.m., Crowell Library, 1890 Huntington Dr., San Marino
If you are interested in hosting this seminar for your organization or school, please email: CommunityOutreach@HuntingtonHospital.com