Fentanyl Now Leading Cause of Overdose Deaths in the US

It seems as if every news outlets have at least one story a day related to the opiate crisis or opiate epidemic. The concerns aren’t unfounded either. More people are using, becoming addicted to, overdosing from, and dying due to opiates.

 

Many people’s opiate addictions began through legitimate means. It usually begins with some accident and a prescription for pain pills. Over the last few years, the government has been shutting down what they call “pill mills”. As a result, this made it harder for people to satisfy their pill addiction.

 

When pills ran out, people turned to other opiates like heroin. But even heroine has been getting more expensive and harder to get. And now it’s more dangerous.

 

Drug suppliers and dealers have taken to cutting drugs with fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. Many times, people aren’t aware they are taking fentanyl until it’s too late.

 

Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now the leading cause of overdose deaths in the United States. Last year alone it killed more than 21,000 people.

 

The outcry that the US is in the midst of an overdose epidemic is putting it lightly. In 2016 alone, 65,000 people died from drug overdoes, a 21% jump from 2015. While not all of those can be credited to opiates, a large number can.

 

Many are shocked to learn that Fentanyl only arrived on the illicit drug scene around 2012. In a few short years, it has raced ahead, beating out the traditional killers like meth and heroin in terms of death counts. It’s not surprising considering fentanyl is 50 times more potent than morphine and 10 times more potent than heroin. Add to the mix the fact that most people aren’t aware they are taking it and you have the perfect recipe for an opiate epidemic.

 

Fentanyl might soon be displaced though as a new kid on the block, Carfentanil, which is a synthetic opiate even more powerful than fentanyl.

 

If you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction, please contact us to get help.

 

Dr. Raul J. Rodriguez

Dr. Raul Rodriguez

DABPN, DABAM, MRO