Fentanyl, the powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is anywhere from 50–100 times more potent, has become the leading cause of drug overdose fatalities in the United States. Its widespread use is extremely grim because even as some people who struggle with addiction try to avoid the drug, dealers increasingly add fentanyl to their drug supplies to make each batch more potent, addictive, and dangerous.
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.
Analysis of state and national statistics for fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses reveals a shocking threat to Americans, far in excess of what our overdose deaths statistics would indicate.
One of the findings in the CDC’s 2020 Cause of Death report was that overdose deaths caused by fentanyl were the leading cause of death for adults ages 18 to 45. At first, this key fact went almost unnoticed. Only now is this critical issue getting the attention it deserves.
America is losing more of its aging citizens to alcohol and drug dependence and even fatal overdoses. It’s time to take a look at the extent of this problem.
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.
Carfentanil has made the news from time to time over the past few years, but not usually in a way that sparks mass concern from authorities and communities. Sadly, the most recent headline on carfentanil suggests that traffickers are appropriating this drug for mass distribution. That’s definitely something to be concerned about.
It’s shocking but true. In several states across the U.S., when fatalities are measured per capita, more Americans are dying from drug-related harm in counties designated as rural than in counties designated as urban.
There is compelling evidence that suggests opioid addiction and overdose rates soared during the Covid-19 pandemic. Was this a direct result of Covid-19? Or was it a continuation of America’s opioid addiction epidemic?
What is fentanyl? How did it become America’s worst drug problem? What can be done to prevent soaring fentanyl deaths?