Deadly opiate causing serious concern on city streets
The deadly opiate drug fentanyl is making its rounds on city streets and is a cause for concern among officials, doctors and anti-drug advocates.
Doctors say the drug is typically given to patients in severe pain following surgery or car accidents. It's often added to illicit drugs like heroin, where it can be highly lethal because its dosage is intended to be strictly regulated.
Casey Schwartz, 41, says that he began using heroin as a teenager and as an addict he craved stronger drugs. That meant going to a drug dealer for the dangerous mix of heroin and fentanyl.
Dr. Susan Whitley, of Kings County Hospital, says fentanyl is deadly and is popping up more and more on the streets.
Doctors say a fentanyl overdose can be treated with a medication called Naloxone if the patient is treated on time. The drug is administered up the nostrils of the patient, and half of the vial goes in each nostril.
Dr. Whitley says the kits are distributed through the Overdose Prevention Program at Kings County Hospital. Every person seeking help for substance abuse is eligible for training.