The Malta Independent 22 May 2019, Wednesday

How to deal with Fentanyl

Thursday, 14 March 2019, 14:01 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Forensic Drug Analysis Laboratory at the Department of Chemistry, University of Malta has just launched a pamphlet titled Fentanyl ‒ Safety recommendations guide for first responders

The Maltese society is witnessing the infiltration of two types of synthetic drugs which are a dangerous threat to society: synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones. A third group of synthetic drugs includes the synthetic opioids of which fentanyl forms part of. The prevalence of fentanyl and other opioids in the illicit market has increased throughout Europe.


For this reason, first responders need to understand how to protect themselves in the field. In view of this, the Department of Chemistry has published the pamphlet Fentanyl ‒ Safety recommendations guide for first responders which provides scientific-based recommendations to the first responders to inform them how they can keep safe when the presence of fentanyl is suspected during the course of their daily activities. 

Rector Prof. Alfred J. Vella stressed that apart from teaching and mentoring students, the University is an entity that strives to contribute to society in general. The production of this leaflet, which is being circulated to a number of stakeholders, outlines basic yet vital information that can help saves lives. The University remains committed to such ventures to ensure that society at large benefits from the work being undertaken by the many faculties, centres and institutes within its fold.

The Department of Chemistry, within the Faculty of Science, has always been at the forefront of such a strategy providing various services to other public institutions as was the case during the recent haul of narcotics at the Malta Freeport.

While to date there have been no reported cases of Fentanyl in Malta, the head of the Chemistry Department, Prof. Sinagra explained the risks of this substance and the precautions that first responders need to take to ensure the safe handling of the person suffering from a suspected overdose of such a substance.

Carlo Olivari D'Emanuele from the National Focal Point for Drugs was also present for the launch and welcomed the compilation of this information, which proves helpful to different stakeholders working in the field.

Copies of the leaflet can be obtained by sending an email to [email protected]

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