#Roommates, earlier this year there were reports of how the current rise of drug overdoses directly coincided with the extreme stress of the pandemic—but now, additional research finds that the highly lethal drug fentanyl is reportedly the leading cause of fatalities. According to the Centers For Disease Control, in less than 10 years, drugs laced with fentanyl have been on an alarming rise and the death toll from those who use them has become a major cause of concern.
The national opioid crisis has been discussed at length throughout the last few years, but it wasn’t until more recently that researchers linked opioid usage and opioid overdoses to one culprit… fentanyl. In addition to being mixed into heroin, morphine, codeine and other opioids, fentanyl is also regularly showing up in marijuana and especially cocaine—which means that the death rate from overdoses can be directly traced to the drugs being laced with fentanyl. To put things into perspective, morphine is one of the strongest drugs around and fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger. Certain experts, suggest that drug dealers are purposely putting fentanyl into their cocaine because it’s cheaper and can make their cocaine supply stretch out for the same price.
The @CDC notes that overdose death rates from synthetic opioid usage including fentanyl increased over 16% from 2018 to 2019. Additionally, those overdose deaths were 12 times higher in 2019 than in 2013. In 2016, 37% of cocaine overdoses were due to fentanyl. As we previously reported earlier this year, A government report was recently released confirming that in 2020, there were reportedly 93,000 overdose deaths in the U.S., translating to a 29% increase from 2019, when the estimated overdose deaths were 72,000 and almost half of those deaths were fentanyl-related.
The DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) and health experts are scrambling to find ways to stop the increase of fentanyl-contaminated drugs, as usage is becoming an increasingly deadly issue that is claiming lives regardless of age, economic or social status. Shannon Monnat, Associate Professor of Sociology at Syracuse University, previously explained the harsh reality that most of the illegal drugs being consumed these days are likely laced with fentanyl.
“What’s really driving the surge in overdoses is this increasingly poisoned drug supply. Nearly all of this increase is fentanyl contamination in some way. Heroin is contaminated. Cocaine is contaminated. Methamphetamine is contaminated,” she said.
There have also been recent calls on the Biden administration to put more policies in place to fight this crisis that is seemingly lower on the list on national priorities despite its death rate.
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