Fentanyl: Americans overdose on a drug they don’t know they are taking

It’s a horrific new record for drug overdose deaths – an increase of almost 30% from the same period a year earlier and a near doubling in the past five years.

The drug epidemic developed alongside the Covid-19 pandemic, which claimed an estimated 509,000 deaths during the same period.

Synthetic opioids like fentanyl – a pain reliever 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine – accounted for the bulk of these drug overdose deaths: around 64,000.

The pandemic play a role. “In a crisis of this magnitude, those who are already taking medication may take higher amounts and those who recover may relapse. This is a phenomenon that we have seen and perhaps could have predicted,” Dr Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told CNN.

Enough fentanyl to kill 333 million people. Read this line from the CNN report: The US government seized enough fentanyl this year to give every American a lethal dose, Drug Enforcement Administration administrator Anne Milgram said on Wednesday at a White House press briefing, calling the epidemic an overdose. in the United States of “national crisis” which “knows no geographical borders”. , and it just keeps getting worse. “

Deadly counterfeits that look like prescription pills. Illegal drugs are often designed to look like prescription pills, available online and sold on social media, according to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warning in September.
That same month, the DEA announced more than 800 arrests and the seizure of more than 1.8 million pills as part of a two-month sweep.
The agency noted that fentanyl was entered in each state and he issued an urgent warning in September about fake prescription pills containing the drug.

As little as 2 milligrams can be fatal, and they are often cut with Oxycontin, Percocet, or other counterfeit drugs.

Who abuses drugs? Many people. An estimated 10.1 million Americans aged 12 and over abused opioids in 2019, including 9.7 million prescription painkiller abusers and 745,000 heroin users, according to the CNN report. .

Who is dying? A Google search gives dozens of stories like these:

  • there is the teenager outside Los Angeles who bought what he thought were prescription pain relievers from a friend of a friend and died of fentanyl poisoning.

Stories are everywhere.

Where do they get the drugs from? Check out these two Las Vegas stories: A Man, 27, accused of selling pills containing fentanyl on Snapchat to a 32-year-old man who died of fentanyl poisoning.
A 21-year-old woman who went through the Snapchat username “yungdrugaddict” was charged with second degree murder for selling pills containing fentanyl that killed a woman of the same age.
What does Snapchat say? In a Declaration of October 7 on its websiteSnapchat says it is improving its work with law enforcement and using artificial intelligence and community reporting to identify and remove drug dealers from the platform.

How does fentanyl get to the United States? The chemicals used to make the drug are often shipped from China to the United States or Mexico to be produced by drug cartels in Mexico and then smuggled into the United States.

The drug can be delivered in small mailings of less than one kilogram.

A Chinese government crackdown on fentanyl has slowed down this method. India is another source of fentanyl in the United States.
here is a DEA fentanyl passage report:

Fentanyl is mixed with other street drugs to increase the potency of the drug, sold as nasal powders and sprays, and increasingly squeezed into pills designed to look like legitimate prescription opioids. Because there is no official oversight or quality control, these counterfeit pills often contain lethal doses of fentanyl, without any of the drugs promised.

What is President Joe Biden doing? The administration notes that it has earmarked $ 4 billion in funding for the Covid-19 relief program, known as the US bailout, to tackle overdose deaths, including expanding services for substance use disorders and mental health.

Biden told reporters on Wednesday that his administration “is also working to make medical coverage more accessible and affordable for all Americans, so more people in need of care can get it.”

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