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Is Fentanyl One Of The Safer Drugs Used In Boulder and Throughout The USA??

Fentanyl, that scourge of society and boon to the underground drug marketers, is safe? What? You think I’m nuts? You think that’s news?? In fact, fentanyl IS one of the safer drugs used in Boulder. Why would I say such an outrageous thing? To be clear, I am NOT talking about street drugs. I am not talking about buying something on the street that is really an “unknown white powder.” Fentanyl may or may not be an identified ingredient in the street drugs. In that form it is incredibly dangerous and people are dying at a truly alarming rate.

What AM I talking about?? I’m talking about fentanyl when used by an Anesthesiologist  in a hospital for its intended purpose. Remember that I am NOT an MD, do NOT have a medical degree, cannot and do not intend to give medical advice. I have not even played a Doctor on TV.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, first developed by Dr. Paul Janssen in 1960, and is widely used as a pain medication and anesthetic. Several pharmaceutical companies produce fentanyl under various brand names, such as Actiq, Duragesic, and Sublimaze, among others.

Black = Carbon   White = Hydrogen   Blue = Oxygen.     Fentanyl Molecule

Propofol and fentanyl are two of the most commonly used drugs in the cocktail that these HIGHLY trained MD specialists use daily!  This Medical Doctor is arguably the most critical person on the procedure team in the hospital. They administer the essential drugs to get you safely and painlessly and carefree through the procedure. The drugs they administer are manufactured under highly controlled methods and using the best lab equipment available. Doses ARE as advertised!

The MD is monitoring your “vitals”. They know if your breathing is what they want it to be. They know what your blood oxygen level is, constantly monitoring this and many more indicators which all help the MD specialist protect your safety while insuring that the procedure is “invisible” to you. They use “real” drugs, professionally manufactured and controlled. No pain, no worries, no tension, and no experience of the passage of time. AND you do not die from the fentanyl.
You go to “sleep” and then YOU WAKE UP.

So what’s all the hype about how dangerous fentanyl is? ALL TRUE! When this drug is used outside of the intended hospital setting AND administered and monitored by a person who is not an MD specially trained to use it, but Instead it is consumed in unknown amounts by street drug users. That use carries with it a “random death penalty“. In this circumstance it is currently perhaps the most deadly drug hitting the streets, and hitting them hard!

When fentanyl is compared with drugs, it is both safe and effective. It is one of the drugs of choice of the anesthesiologist MDs for all of the right reasons.

1.  When used properly in a medical setting, specifically by anesthesiologists, fentanyl is considered very safe. Deaths from fentanyl under these circumstances are extremely rare and are usually linked to other complicating factors rather than the drug itself.

2.  In contrast, fentanyl-related deaths outside of hospital settings have surged dramatically, mainly due to its illicit use. Fentanyl is potent and has a narrow therapeutic index, meaning the dose required for therapeutic effects is close to the dose that can cause life-threatening effects. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl often lacks precise dosing, significantly increasing the risk of overdose.

3. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) were involved in over 70,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2021. That number is only higher now. Most of these deaths are attributed to non-medical use, often involving fentanyl mixed unknowingly into other drugs.

4. It is clear from the data that the per capita death rate from illicit fentanyl use is significantly higher than from medical use by anesthesiologist.

So I am not totally nuts.  Alarmist? Only reasonably so. Are the illustrations intended to shock? ABSOLUTELY! What is nuts is taking street drugs, especially given the present environment which includes illicit fentanyl made in underground “labs” and mixed with or substituted for other street drugs.  And by the way, it is totally illegal as a street drug. Stay safe!

Lenny Lensworth Frieling

Shared Knowledge Is Power!

Leonard Frieling Pen Of Justice Legal Blogger
  • Senior Counsel Emeritus to the Boulder Law firm Dolan + Zimmerman LLP : (720)-610-0951
  • Former Judge
  • Photographer of the Year, AboutBoulder 2023
  • First Chair and Originator of the Colorado Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee, a National first.
  • Previous Chair, Boulder Criminal Defense Bar (8 years)
  • Twice chair Executive Counsel, Colorado Bar Association Criminal Law Section
  • NORML Distinguished Counsel Circle
  • Life Member, NORML Legal Committee
  • Life Member, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
  • Board Member Emeritus, Colorado NORML
  • Chair, Colorado NORML, 7 years including during the successful effort to legalize recreational pot in Colorado
  • Media work, including episodes of Fox’s Power of Attorney, well in excess of many hundreds media interviews, appearances, articles, and podcasts, including co-hosting Time For Hemp for two years.
  • Board member, Author, and Editor for Criminal Law Articles for the Colorado Lawyer, primary publication of the Colorado Bar Assoc. 7 Years, in addition to having 2 Colorado Lawyer cover photos, and numerous articles for the Colorado Lawyer monthly publication.
  • LEAP Speaker, multi-published author, University lectures Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, Denver University Law School, Univ. of New Mexico, Las Vegas NM, and many other schools at all levels.
  • http://www.Lfrieling.com
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