A bottle with the label Fentanyl among others

Increase in fentanyl use and addiction in Portugal.

There is a concerning increase in fentanyl use and addiction in Portugal. A drug that has been responsible for a proliferation of overdose deaths in the United States. According to the Institute for Addictive Behaviors and Dependencies (ICAD), 12 people in Portugal have sought help for fentanyl addiction, with eight of them using the drug in combination with others and four being solely addicted to fentanyl.

The drug is also being prescribed by doctors in Portugal for pain management, contributing to its increased availability. The lack of specific monitoring for fentanyl prescriptions in Portugal has raised concerns, particularly as the drug is the fourth most prescribed painkiller in the country, with sales increasing by 32% over the past five years.

The risk of addiction to fentanyl is downplayed in the 2008 recommendations from the Directorate-General of Health (DGS), despite the drug’s highly addictive nature and potential for overdose. While there have been no cases of fentanyl overdose in Portugal, there are individuals obtaining and using the drug without a prescription, either through family members or in other countries.

The Judicial Police (PJ) is closely monitoring the fentanyl consumption phenomenon, although no investigations into drug trafficking have been opened. The drug has a significant impact in the United States, where it has caused over 100,000 deaths annually. To combat the trafficking of fentanyl, a specific task force was established by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in November.

This force aims to use financial and investigative measures to target the flow of fentanyl into the country and collaborate with other nations, such as Mexico and China, to address the drug trade. Overall, awareness about the growing fentanyl problem in Portugal and its connection to international efforts to combat the drug’s trafficking and use has to be raised.

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