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What is fentanyl and how does it kill?

Published: Thursday, June 02, 2016 @ 2:01 PM
Updated: Monday, August 22, 2016 @ 10:28 AM

What is fentanyl, how is it usually administered and what does it do to the body?

Here’s a quick look.

  • Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is 50 times more potent than heroin. The drug is partly responsible for a recent surge in overdose deaths in some parts of the country. 
  • Fentanyl is similar to, but more potent than, morphine, and is used to manage pain after surgery or treat patients with severe pain.
  • Fentanyl is often administered in a patch. Sometimes cancer patients will take it via a lollypop.
  • The drug is released into fat in the body. It moves slowly through the bloodstream providing several days of pain relief.
  • In its prescription form, fentanyl is known as Actiq, Duragesic, Onsolis, Instanyl, Fentora and Sublimaze. Street names for the drug include Apache, China girl, China white, dance fever, friend, goodfella, jackpot, murder 8, TNT, as well as Tango and Cash.
  • Mixing fentanyl with other drugs or with alcohol amplifies their potency and potential dangers.
  • Side effects from the drug include: euphoria, drowsiness/respiratory depression and arrest, nausea, confusion, constipation, sedation, unconsciousness, coma, tolerance, and addiction.
  • The drug is considered a high risk for addiction and dependence.
  • Fentanyl acts on receptors in the brain and spinal cord to decrease the feeling of pain.
  • Fentanyl can cause serious or life-threatening respiratory problems.
  • More than 700 fentanyl-related overdose deaths were reported to the Drug Enforcement Administration in late 2013 and 2014.

Sources: The Associated Press; The National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institute on Drug Abuse; WebMD

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When she first ‘liked’ his Instagram photo, he had no idea she would soon become his wife

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 9:48 AM

File photo
Carl Court/Getty Images

Scott and Laura Ulrich’s love story is beautiful, but a little unusual. Their journey started with a simple “like” on Instagram, and now the happy couple is married and enjoying life together in Atlanta.

>> Read more trending news 

This coffee-brewing, city-living, cat-loving couple proves that anything can happen if you meet the right person, and you’re willing to be a little bold. According to Laura:

Scott and I went to the same college, Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville. I knew who he was, but he didn’t even know I existed. I remember when I saw him for the first time, he had the most beautiful eyes that I had ever seen. We spoke for maybe two minutes, then he walked away.

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In that moment, Scott had no idea that he was speaking to his future wife for the first time, but Laura knew he was special from that very first moment:

I joked with my friends that I was going to marry Scotty Ulrich… well, I was sort of joking.

A year went by, and their brief conversation turned into nothing more than that. They both transferred to Georgia State University around the same time, and that’s when things started to get interesting. Laura explained that timing and location was all they needed to get the ball rolling.

It has been a little over a year since I had thought about Scott, but then randomly one day while I was in the car with a friend, Scott’s name popped into my head and I just had to see what he was up to. I quickly realized that he was also living in Atlanta. I followed him on Instagram, and shortly after we started liking each others pictures. Then I did something bold and a little out of character for me; I sent him a message telling him that we should be friends.

Scott may not have known who Laura was before, but she definitely caught his attention with that message.

I knew I wanted to take this pretty girl on a date, but I had just gotten into a car wreck and my car was totaled. I ended up buying her a train ticket, and asked her if she wanted to grab coffee with me. We were pretty much inseparable after she entered the station. It was a date that we never wanted to end.

Laura looks back on the day that she decided to check up on Scott via Instagram, and stresses to others that sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone to get some of the most special things in life.

Piece of advice: don’t ask your friends to set you up with someone. There’s is no one better to set you up with someone then [sic] yourself. If you never try, you never know. And you are probably much more incredible then you think you are. So I think people should go for it. You have nothing to lose. Be bold.

HS athlete with epilepsy fighting to bring cannabis oil on campus

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 9:30 AM



WSBTV.com

A high school athlete is at the center of a cannabis oil debate. He is one of 1,700 patients to sign up throughout the state for medical marijuana, but his high school says he can't bring it on campus.

WSBTV’s Rikki Klaus spoke with CJ Harris, who is currently traveling with the Warner Robins High School basketball team.

>> Read more trending news

He played at Lambert High in Suwannee over the weekend. His family credits medical cannabis oil for keeping CJ seizure-free the last several months.

"It's hard because you don't know if this is your last breath your child is taking. You just don't know," father Curtis Harris told Klaus. 

Harris said he couldn't be more proud of his 17-year-old son, CJ.

Klaus looked on as the Warner Robins High School basketball player hit the court in Gwinnett County over the weekend. But epilepsy kept stealing CJ's thunder, and his prescription pills weren't working.

"I wake up every morning and I pray, ‘Please don't let nothing happen today. Please don't let nothing happen today,’" CJ told Klaus.

Harris said his son has had about 15 seizures, and hit his head half a dozen times.

CJ’s last seizure was in early January.

In mid-January, CJ started taking medical cannabis oil, legal in the state of Georgia for two years now.

Harris said it's worked, so far.

"He's going from having two seizures a month or one seizure a month, and now he hasn't had any? That's like, wow," Harris said.

But CJ has had to miss class, just so he can take his noon dose. 

The medicine is forbidden on his campus. It violates federal law. For Harris and his son, it's a huge inconvenience.

"So I've got to come pick him up every day, check him out of school, bring him to the house," Harris said.

Klaus contacted the Houston County Board of Education, which sent her a statement that reads, in part:

"Per the Safe and Drug Free Schools federal law, the oil may not be brought onto school grounds."

State Rep. Allen Peake, who is responsible for advocating for and ushering in Georgia's medical marijuana program, said cases like this are going to become more and more common, since state law conflicts with federal law.

"CJ's case is not going to be isolated. There are kids all over the state who are going to be facing the same issue, particularly now that autism is added to the list of qualifying conditions," Peake told Klaus.

Harris said the medicine was allowed at his son's old school, a private school in Macon. He wants that same freedom for CJ at Warner Robins.

Peake said school administrators need to get courageous, do what's best for the students and allow cannabis oil on campus. 

Police find 2 overdosing adults, child in car nearly crashed over hillside

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 9:21 AM



WPXI.com

A car with a young child in the back seat nearly flipped over a hillside Monday in Pittsburgh’s Carrick neighborhood as the driver and another adult were overdosing, police said.

The car was still running and in drive when police found it crashed off Cloverdale Street shortly after 5:30 p.m. Police said it looked like it was going to tip at any moment and the child was screaming for help.

>> Read more trending news

According to a criminal complaint, a man and a woman were overdosing on heroin and were slumped over in the front of the car. Officers administered Naloxone to both people, one of whom was turning blue.

Police found that there were “stamp bags littered on the front center cup holder and the front passenger floor,” the complaint said. Hypodermic needles were also in the front of the car.

Both adults and the child were safely pulled from the car.

Boy, 12, sparks brush fire while burning textbooks, police say

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 9:08 AM



WFTV.com

A 12-year-old boy is facing charges after police said he started a 10-acre brush fire while trying to record a video for YouTube of himself burning textbooks.

The fire was reported near the Manchester Lakes Subdivision near Snicole Avenue and Durham Drive.

Melboure police officers, West Melbourne police officers and Brevard County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene, where they said the fire was quickly encroaching on homes in the subdivision. 

Interactive map: Burn bans in effect in Central Florida

“I’m hosing my roof, I’m, hosing my neighbor’s roof. By the time I looked, it was on top of me,” said resident Eddie Abreu. “This can be replaced. Life cannot. Thank God everybody was good.”

Firefighters from three agencies and the Florida Forest Service battled the blaze while law enforcement evacuated about 10 homes.

Residents said the flames spread quickly.

“It just popped up like it did. You know, it was very scary,” said resident Patrick Corrigan.

Police said the child called 911 and said he was attempting to make a video of himself burning his textbooks.

The fire spread quickly due to the dry conditions and the flames pushed into the yards of several nearby properties.

No structures were damaged, but police said one nearby fence was burned. 

Police filled out a juvenile referral and submitted it to the State Attorney’s Office asking to charge the boy with intentional burning of lands and criminal mischief, which are both felonies.

His name was not released.