A news story broke recently of an Arizona drug bust in which, unlike most drug busts, the agents did NOT seize fentanyl that had been trafficked from Mexico or China. Rather, the agents seized batches of chemicals intended to produce fentanyl right here in the United States.
Certain drug combinations, habits, and even mental or physical health conditions greatly increase the risk of fatal drug overdose. Learn the factors that create the biggest risks.
Methamphetamine Deaths Increased by More Than 50-Fold Between 1999 and 2021—Fentanyl Largely to Blame
“I won’t overdose on that drug—it’s not an opioid.” For decades, people who have become addicted to mind-altering substances like methamphetamine and other non-opioid drugs have used this line to justify using their drug of choice.
A new study has shown that fentanyl is so potent it can stop the user’s breathing and cause death while the user is still conscious. That is different from other opioid overdoses that typically involve the user going unconscious before experiencing halted breathing and cardiac arrest. Such a development means emergency responders and concerned individuals now have even less time to respond to an opioid overdose, thus heightening the risk of death.
Illicit fentanyl has been a leading cause of fatal overdoses in the United States for some years. Adding to the concern, recent reports by the Drug Enforcement Administration suggest that new strains of “rainbow fentanyl” could be spreading through American cities. The drug, colored to look like candy, is particularly risky to young adults, teens, and children.
Many public health experts believed that, partially because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was going to be the worst year yet for drug overdoses. They were right, and final numbers for the death toll exceeded even the most gloomy predictions.
As the opioid epidemic continues to unfold, a new threat has revealed itself. It’s called the gray death, and it’s already killed several Americans.
In a recent brief by the CDC, experts published findings that more than 50% of cocaine-related deaths also had opioids present. The same was true with meth deaths. This is very concerning because it indicates a drug use trend where addicts may be more likely to use multiple drugs at once.
It’s possible while our attention has been riveted elsewhere, our drug overdose deaths are escalating out of control. This isn’t a problem we can ignore for long. Or at all.
Every year, the Drug Enforcement Administration reports on the biggest drug threats in our country because those threats never stay the same two years in a row. These annual reports can arm parents with enough information to warn their children of the intense, life-threatening risks of drug use.