Opioids: Philadelphia Inquirer Addresses Fentanyl Myths; Overdoses Among Middle-Aged Women Are On the Rise

January 23, 2019 | Strategic Insights for Health System


The author of a January 16, 2019, commentary in the Philadelphia Inquirer looked to dispel misinformation about fentanyl, including the idea that emergency responders might overdose simply from coming into contact with the substance. Fentanyl is "an umbrella name" used to refer to a few synthetic opioids, the author said. Fentanyl is certainly dangerous, the author said, noting that fentanyl or one of its analogues was involved in 84% of overdose deaths in Philadelphia in 2017. However, a good deal of misinformation also exists on the subject. The author cited a recent article from the American College of Medical Toxicology and American Academy of Clinical Toxicology that noted that "the risk of clinically significant exposure to emergency responders is extremely low."

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