Heroin and Fentanyl Use of Great Concern in the New Orleans Area

Heroin and Fentanyl Use of Great Concern in the New Orleans Area

According to Orleans Parish Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, this city has seen a growing opiate addiction involving illegal drugs such as heroin and prescription drugs such as fentanyl.  Read more…

Overview

For more information about heroin and fentanyl, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opiate similar to but more potent than morphine.  It is used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery.  In March 2016, New Orleans experienced at least 14 deaths by fentanyl overdose, according to Rouse.  In 2015, there were only 12 total fentanyl deaths in New Orleans for the entire year. 

Naloxone, widely known by its brand name, Narcan, is an opiate antidote that prevents heroin and fentanyl overdoses.  Naloxone is carried by all New Orleans EMS and Tulane EMS units, and a supply has been ordered to be kept at the Loyola University Police Department headquarters. For more information about the opiate antidote naloxone, dial 211 in the state of Louisiana. 

Signs and Symptoms

Depending on the type of substance being used, a person may exhibit one or more of the following:

  • Loss of inhibition, poor judgment, slow reactions, loss of coordination
  • Sudden changes in attitude, work or behavior
  • Sudden deterioration of friendships
  • “Explosive” arguments over small matters
  • Frequent hangover symptoms
  • Secretive behaviors, paranoia
  • Erratic behavior, forgetfulness, indecision, mood swings
  • Deterioration in personal appearance, poor hygiene
  • Hyperactivity, easy excitability, restlessness
  • Financial problems, frequent borrowing of money
  • Stealing or lying
  • Marked changes in sleep patterns
  • Deteriorating work quality, missed deadlines, missed class, falling grades
  • Easily fatigued or constantly tired
  • Marked changes in weight
  • Changes in speech—slurred, faster or slower
  • Tremors or jitters
  • Constricted or dilated pupils
  • Unusual odors (marijuana, solvents, etc.)

The presence of one or more of these cues does not necessarily mean that someone is using substances, but these cues could indicate that something is wrong. If you observe these signs in someone you know, talk to him or her and offer resource information if there are issues that need professional attention.

Resources

The Office of Student Affairs ― which includes the university’s Intercollegiate Athletics and Wellness, Residential Life, Student Health Services, and Student Involvement departments ― distributes informational materials and provides educational programming to increase student knowledge and dispel misinformation regarding alcohol and other drugs, to reduce harm and to change alcohol and other drug-related behavior. 

Counseling

One-on-one, confidential personal counseling is available to any currently enrolled Loyola undergraduate, graduate or law student. Students may seek counseling to address personal substance abuse issues or concerns about family, friends, or others who may have a substance abuse problem.

Please contact the University Counseling Center at Loyola University (504) 865-3835 to schedule an appointment.

Referral Information

When a student is in need of substance abuse counseling or other treatment, the University Counseling Center is available to provide assistance in locating and selecting a mode of treatment that recognizes and responds to the individual needs of that student.

There are a variety of alternatives for substance abuse treatment, including outpatient treatment programs, hospital inpatient programs, and support groups. If it is necessary for the student to seek medical withdrawal from the university in order to obtain treatment, the UCC will assist in this process.

If you are a student who is experiencing difficulties related to your substance abuse or if you are a concerned friend, teammate, family member, or faculty member, call to schedule an appointment at (504) 865-3835, or stop by the UCC, which is located on the second floor of the Danna Student Center.  You can also make a report at https://publicdocs.maxient.com/incidentreport.php?LoyolaUnivNO to be managed by Loyola’s Care and Concern Team.