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Another fentanyl death

Police are investigating yet another fentanyl death in The Bahamas, The Nassau Guardian understands. 

The death reportedly occurred recently on Grand Bahama. 

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid and has led to an epidemic in the United States.

In July, The Guardian highlighted the growing concern over fentanyl in The Bahamas.

Up to that point, renowned Bahamian psychiatrist Dr. David Allen had documented eight deaths in The Bahamas through his sources, including those in law enforcement and the families who have lost loved ones to the drug, which comes in various forms, among them powder, liquid and pill.

Details on the latest death were not immediately available, but The Guardian understands police are investigating.

Speaking yesterday, Allen said, “We cannot afford an epidemic like cocaine. [With fentanyl] you have two to three minutes. We have no Narcan spray as yet.”

Narcan quickly reverses a fentanyl overdose and Allen has been advocating for police officers to have the spray to help save lives.

“The message here, we cannot afford to have a fentanyl epidemic like the US,” Allen said.

“We’re a small country and with fentanyl you die. If you’re ignorant about it you die. Ignorance is death; knowledge is life. As a parent, you must know the facts … another death has happened. Because it’s in the streets, more are vulnerable.”

Allen said there appears to be an absolute lack of knowledge among many Bahamians regarding the dangers of fentanyl overdose.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse in the United States notes, “People both knowingly consume fentanyl and other synthetic opioids and unknowingly consume them when they are mixed into or sold as other drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, or counterfeit pills.

“Because fentanyl is about 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and a lethal dose of fentanyl can be very small, using a drug that has been contaminated with or replaced by fentanyl can greatly increase one’s risk of overdose.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, “Rates of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, which includes fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, increased over 22 percent from 2020 to 2021.

“The rate of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids in 2021 was nearly 22 times the rate in 2013.

“Nearly 71,000 drug overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids other than methadone in 2021. The latest provisional drug overdose death counts suggest overdose deaths accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Renewing his fears about a possible epidemic in The Bahamas in the absence of awareness and action, Allen warned, “This is terrible. This could knock us out.”