In September 2019, I wrote a perhaps overly optimistic piece about the fact that America was finally seeing a downturn in overdose deaths. In the more than ten years I’d been writing about this topic, I had only seen the steadiest of climbs in these numbers. I had no idea—and neither did anyone else—how much worse things would get.
Drug overdoses are one of the leading health problems in the United States. And while drug addiction is present in every U.S. state, the crisis touches down with more force in some states than in others. Maryland is one such state.
One of the most telling indicators of the overall health of a nation’s population is its life expectancy. When a population’s life expectancy improves, this is a sign of overall improvement for that country. When a country’s life expectancy falls, especially after a period of steady growth in life expectancy, that is something to be worried about.
U.S. News ran a story on August 8th, 2019 titled, “Lethal Deception: Deaths From Cocaine Laced With Fentanyl on the Rise.” The article talked about how cocaine misuse is on its way up and how that has had a direct effect on increasing drug-overdose deaths.
Hearing about the effects of our country’s drug addiction epidemic is difficult. It's never a pleasant subject to talk about. But, when we hear about drug addiction or alcoholism occurring in young people, that particular crisis carries with it an extra pang of sadness.
I’d like to invite our readers to consider an interesting and concerning truism in addiction science. We can all agree that any kind of drug use is dangerous. Any sort of alcohol misuse is dangerous. These are the facts. But there is this interesting, unique, and crucial datum that we don’t give enough recognition to.
In just a few days in New Haven, Connecticut, more than a hundred people would be plunged into life-threatening overdoses as a result of their drug use. The culprit was the ultrapowerful synthetic drug AB-Fubinaca, often found in packets of drugs sold as Spice or K2.