Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, has unleashed the most lethal narcotics crisis in U.S. history – and its deadly reach extends to Sedgwick County.
MSSC will provide an overview of fentanyl and its impact on our community at a free CME event on Feb. 21 at Roberts Amphitheater at the KU School of Medicine-Wichita.
More than 107,000 people died of drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2021 – nearly double the number of overdose deaths in 2019. Fentanyl was responsible for two-thirds of those deaths and is now the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18 to 49, the Washington Post reported. In fact, fentanyl is now claiming more lives in the U.S. than car accidents, gun violence or suicides.
Many people who overdosed didn’t realize they were taking fentanyl, as it is sometimes added to other pills without the knowledge of the person using the drugs. Last March, a Derby teenager died after taking a Percocet pill that was laced with fentanyl. During one weekend in 2020, the Wichita Police Department reported four overdoses linked to fake oxycodone containing fentanyl.
The MSSC event will feature a panel discussion with Kevin Brinker, DO, medical director of Sedgwick County EMS; Howard Chang, MD, medical director of the Ascension Via Christi- St. Francis Emergency Department; and Heather Roe, DO, an addiction specialist. The discussion will be moderated by Tim Scanlan, MD, an addiction specialist.
In addition to offering 1 hour of CME credit, the event is intended to meet the new Kansas Board of Healing Arts Category 3 opioid training requirement.
Fentanyl in ICT
WHEN: 6:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 21. Social time begins at 6:30 p.m., with the presentation starting at 7 p.m.
WHERE: KUSM-W, Roberts Amphitheater, 1010 N. Kansas
COST: Free. Light snacks provided. Spouses welcome.
RSVP: By Feb. 16. E-mail Denise Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (316) 683-7558.