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“Rainbow Fentanyl” and Carfentanyl Present in Eastern Oregon

LA GRANDE – The use of fentanyl continues to rise within Oregon and across the United States. Colored fentanyl in forms similar to sidewalk chalk and rainbow blocks that look like candies, creates an additional safety concern for our community, especially children and the opioid-naïve who may mistake the drug for candy or a toy, or those willing to try the drug due to its playful coloring.

This is especially concerning with Halloween rapidly approaching. Additionally, a Union County resident recently tested positive for Carfentanyl (also known as
Carfentanil) in a Urine Drug Screen (UDS). The person was not aware that they had ingested the drug which underscores the danger. Carfentanyl is a potent opioid analgesic that is used in veterinary medicine to anesthetize large animals such as elephants, hippos, and bears.

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit (SIU) recently seized
approximately four ounces of multi-colored chunks that field tested positive for fentanyl (photo 1). The powder was pressed into small blocks, similar to sidewalk chalk. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, multi-colored, counterfeit M-30 pills containing fentanyl have been seized across the United States in recent months (photos 2 and 3).

Note: We have noticed a shift from what was previously considered “counterfeit” pills which were being disguised and sold as morphine. These pills are fentanyl pressed with an M and have now become the norm, often specifically sought out.

Anyone using drugs should assume it contains fentanyl. There are no indications of a difference in potency due to the color of powdered fentanyl. Fentanyl in powdered form may be more potent than in pill form due to inconsistent mixing and manufacturing in counterfeit pills. Overdose from fentanyl use may be higher than other opioids, putting those who are opioid-naïve at a much higher risk of accidental overdose.

Naloxone (Narcan) is widely available in Oregon and can be obtained by asking their doctor or local pharmacist for a naloxone prescription. Under Oregon state laws, anyone can ask for a naloxone prescription, even if they plan to use it for someone else. Cost may depend on your insurance coverage -Medicaid recipients receive naloxone prescriptions at no cost.

Residents of Union County can also contact the Center for Human Development to obtain Narcan as well as training on how to administer the life-saving medication. CHD will have a Narcan giveaway event in our parking lot on Friday, October 7 from 3-6 pm.

The Center for Human Development also offers treatment programs, including the Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use (MAT) program which includes medication, counseling, and support for those who are seeking hope and healing from opioid use disorder.

If you believe someone is overdosing:
•Call 911
•Breathe for the person
•Give naloxone (NARCAN).

Even if you aren’t sure what the person took, giving naloxone will not hurt the person. The Good Samaritan Law in Oregon protects you when you call 9-1-1. For more information, including how to properly administer Narcan, please visit https://www.chdinc.org/medications-for-addiction- treatment If someone is ready for treatment, please call the CHD HOPE hotline at 541-562-HOPE. Additional information on fentanyl can be found at: Oregon Health Authority’s Fentanyl Facts
webpage

CHD is a private, not-for-profit health organization located in La Grande, Oregon. CHD provides addictions and mental health services, Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities services, public health services, and veterans services to the residents of Union County.

CHD’s Behavioral Health team offers hope and healing, new beginnings, and personal growth to children, adolescents, adults, and their families. Services include a wide-range of integrated behavioral health services, including counseling, addiction recovery services, psychiatry, case management, and much more. At CHD, highly trained and skilled professionals can aid you in finding solutions to the struggles that you and your family may be experiencing.

CHD provides programs and services that maintain and improve public health in Union County. Public Health focuses on the health of the population as a whole. Our efforts to improve the health of the entire community include family planning, home visiting programs for children and their families, communicable disease prevention and treatment, immunizations, WIC-nutritional program, adolescent health, emergency preparedness and response, among others. CHD provides many of these public health services on behalf of Union County that fulfill their responsibility to protect and promote the health of Union County residents.

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