By Bridgette Norring In collaboration with United Way of Hastings Fentanyl is here in Hastings? What is fentanyl? Why do I need to know that fentanyl is here in Hastings? I don’t use fentanyl; why …
By Bridgette Norring
In collaboration with United Way of Hastings
Fentanyl is here in Hastings? What is fentanyl? Why do I need to know that fentanyl is here in Hastings? I don’t use fentanyl; why do I care if it is here in Hastings? I don’t know anyone that uses fentanyl; therefore, this has nothing to do with me. Fentanyl is here and it is killing members of our community. It is a myth if you think it cannot affect you or your loved ones.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times more potent than morphine When used for its intended purposes, fentanyl can provide much needed relief to those who may suffer daily with cancer or chronic pain both in and outside of a hospital setting. The more common type of prescription fentanyl comes in a transdermal patch form that is placed on the skin, slowly releasing the fentanyl into the prescribed individual’s body. There is a dark side to fentanyl, illicit fentanyl. The illicit fentanyl trade that is killing unsuspecting first-time users, casual users, and those suffering from substance use disorders has reached an all-time high rate since it made its way into the illicit drug trade back in 2013. This is the fentanyl that is here in Hastings that you need to be aware of.
In 2020, there were a total of 1,066 overdose deaths in Minnesota. 56 of those deaths happened right here in Dakota Count. 30 of those 56 deaths were a direct result of illicit fentanyl.
If you think fentanyl doesn’t affect you, think again. Fentanyl is behind the deaths of 19-year-old Devin Norring, Natalia Arreguin, and several other Hastings residents. Both Devin and Natalia, along with others like them here in Hastings, were essentially deceived to their deaths by alleged drug dealers allegedly advertising prescription grade drugs such as Xanax, Percocet, Oxycodone, and Adderall on social media apps like Snapchat. The pills being advertised on Snapchat are nothing more than counterfeit pills packed with fentanyl, carfentanil, and other deadly substances and useless fillers. It is not only pills; fentanyl is also being laced into heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA, and THC vape cartridge.
These are not overdoses; these are intentional poisonings being done at the hands of alleged drug dealers plaguing communities across every single state in the United States. This is happening right here in our very own city. These alleged drug dealers are not only preying upon those with substance use disorders, but they are also preying upon those who are not regular illegal drug users. Those experimenting for the first time never get a chance to learn from their mistakes. They are tragically and senselessly killed the very first time they ever try drugs. Fentanyl is also highly addictive. Those trying or using it can quickly become dependent.
Do you know how to recognize the signs of an overdose? Do you know what to do in the event of an emergency if your child or loved one has taken a dose of illicit fentanyl? Do you know how easy it is to encounter fentanyl in Hastings? Do you know what the Good Samaritan Law is? If you answered no to any of those questions, you’re invited to join Mayor Mary Fasbender, law enforcement officials, and community members on August 30th, at 7:00 p.m. to learn more about the dangers of fentanyl and how it is affecting our community.
Attendees will remember those lost to opioid overdoses and fentanyl poisonings, reduce the stigma associated with overdoses, and help raise awareness of the dangers of opioids and fentanyl within the community.
The IOAD recognition event is a collaboration between the United Way of Hastings, Mayor Fasbender and Confluence Development, LLC. Confluence Development is hosting the gathering across from The Confluence project, located at the former Hudson Manufacturing building in downtown Hastings on 2nd Street East. Participants will gather on the top level of the new public parking deck, across the street from The Confluence, for a short recognition program. At 7:45 p.m., Confluence Development will light the building’s newly restored cupolas purple in recognition of IOAD. Purple lights and purple ribbons will be on display at Hastings City Hall for the week of August 31st.
On August 18, 2021, Governor Tim Walz declared Tuesday, August 31st as Overdose Awareness Day in Minnesota, and the I-35 bridge will be lighted purple on August 31st in recognition of IOAD.
Volpe DA, Tobin GAM, Mellon RD, et al. Uniform assessment and ranking of opioid Mu receptor binding constants for selected opioid drugs. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2011;59(3):385-390. doi:10.1016/j.yrtph.2010.12.007 url: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/fentanyl# ref Higashikawa Y, Suzuki S. Studies on 1-(2-phenethyl)- 4-(N-propionylanilino)piperidine (fentanyl) and its related compounds. VI. Structure-analgesic activity relationship for fentanyl, methyl-substituted fentanyls and other analogues. Forensic Toxicol. 2008;26(1):1-5. doi:10.1007/ s11419-007-0039-1 url: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/ drugfacts/fentanyl#ref NVSS Vital Statistics Rapid Release. Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts. url https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/ vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm Dakota County Behavioral Health Dashboard url: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/c75d76b3e-2204465879401f7544ccfec/ Dakota County Behavioral Health Dashboard url: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/c75d76b3e-2204465879401f7544ccfec/ url: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/ fentanyl#ref Drug Enforcement Agency. Facts About Fentanyl. Url https://www.dea.gov/resources/facts-about-fentanyl