PHOENIX (Jan. 31, 2022) – The two poison centers of Arizona have seen a significant increase in poisonings related to fentanyl from illicit M30 tablets. These counterfeit pills are very dangerous and can be so toxic they cause death.
“Fentanyl is the most common adulterant (substance) in almost all street drugs in our community right now, and even in very small amounts can be fatal,” said Daniel Brooks, MD, medical director of the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center. “We are working with the state and county health departments to warn Arizonans of the dangers of these drugs.”
Recent seizures by the Drug Enforcement Agency included millions of fentanyl pills coming into Arizona. Some states have reported cases of fentanyl in vaping pens resulting in overdose. New substances such as xylazine (a sedative primarily used in veterinary medicine) are also making their way into these illicit drugs. Roughly half of the M30s seized by the DEA agents recently were shown to contain lethal amounts of fentanyl.
“More than five Arizonans are dying per day from opioid overdoses and fentanyl is the leading cause,” said Steve Dudley, PharmD, DABAT, managing director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center. “Now more than ever, we need to promote harm-reduction strategies to prevent these overdoses, and that’s what we aim to do with the OAR Line.”
The Arizona Opioid Assistance and Referral Line, or OAR, can provide free assistance 24/7 for the public and health care professionals at 1-888-688-4222.
Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix has an opioid use disorder treatment program called “Banner University LINK,” through which the emergency department provides naloxone – a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose – without a prescription to a caretaker, friend, or loved one of patients who have been admitted for a drug overdose.
If you or a loved one believe there has been exposure to any poison, medication or chemical, please call the poison center immediately at 1-800-222-1222. The poison centers can assist in evaluating and managing the issue, and help determine if it is necessary to seek additional medical attention.
About Poison and Drug Information Centers in Arizona
The poison and drug information centers at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy in Tucson, and at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, provide free and confidential poison and drug information to the public and health care professionals. The hotlines operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The two centers serve all of Arizona and are part of 55 centers across the nation that are accredited by American Association of Poison Control Centers. Call (800) 222-1222 from any location to reach the poison center nearest you.