Toxicologist sounds the alarm: Fentanyl is much more deadly

Toxicologist sounds the alarm: Fentanyl is much more deadly

The difference between a dose that gives intoxication and a feeling of pleasure and a lethal dose is small. In short, it is much easier to get a “golden shot” from fentanyl than in the case of heroin or other addictive substances. This substance disables breathing, so a person taking too much will simply suffocate – says Dr. n. med. Jarosław Szponar, a specialist in internal medicine, cardiology and clinical toxicology. – If smuggled fentanyl somehow enters Poland, we will have a problem – he adds.

Krystyna Romanowska: So far, 4 people have died of fentanyl overdose in Poland. In the USA, tens of thousands die every year. If in Poland So is fentanyl a real threat or a hyped scandal?

Dr. Jarosław Szponar: The medical community has no data that the number of patients who overdosed on fentanyl has increased in Poland. Perhaps the Ministry of Health and the police have some information that shows that fentanyl has become more accessible than before. I do not rule out that such a situation is taking place, which is why I am very pleased with such a preventive attitude of the services.

I would like to remind you that a similar situation occurred with legal highs. No one talked about them, no one warned about their harmfulness, and then suddenly thousands of stores appeared selling these dangerous drugs. Result? Deaths of people after overdosing on legal highs, because they quickly became widely available. Therefore, I emphasize: if sounding the alarm about the possible increase in the danger associated with the presence of fentanyl on the stimulants market is intended to prevent potential danger, I consider these actions to be very appropriate.

However, if you ask me if I have more patients in the ward who have overdosed on fentanyl – I will say that I do not.

In terms of numbers, we do not see such a problem in toxicology centers. However, I assume that because fentanyl works quickly and strongly, patients die before getting to hospital – then you should ask specialists in forensic medicine, prosecutors or police who have their data. We, toxicologists, are in any case satisfied with this increased vigilance of the services.

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