Saturday, November 20, 2021

The U.S. Govt Has Seized Enough Fentanyl This Year To Give Every American A Lethal Dose

CNN  |  America's drug epidemic is the deadliest it has ever been, new federal data suggests.

More than 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States during the 12-month period ending April 2021, according to provisional data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
That's a new record high, with overdose deaths jumping 28.5% from the same period a year earlier and nearly doubling over the past five years.
 
Opioids continue to be the driving cause of drug overdose deaths. Synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, caused nearly two-thirds (64%) of all drug overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending April 2021, up 49% from the year before, the CDC's 's National Center for Health Statistics found.
 
Drug overdose deaths rose nearly 30% in the past year, according to provisional data released by the National Center for Health Statistics. More than 100,000 people died from a drug overdose between April 2020 and April 2021, up from 78,000 the year before and nearly double the deaths five years ago.
 
The Covid-19 pandemic and the rise in use of fentanyl have both been key contributors to the rising overdose death toll, experts say.
 
The latest provisional data on drug overdose deaths captures those occurring in May 2020 through April 2021. Covid-19 killed about 509,000 people in that same timeframe, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
 
"What we're seeing are the effects of these patterns of crisis and the appearance of more dangerous drugs at much lower prices," Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told CNN. "In a crisis of this magnitude, those already taking drugs may take higher amounts and those in recovery may relapse. It's a phenomenon we've seen and perhaps could have predicted."
But the rise of fentanyl, a stronger and faster-acting drug than natural opiates, has made those effects even more deadly, she said.
 
Increasing use of the synthetic drug caught the attention of experts before Covid-19 hit, but the pandemic may have exacerbated the problem. 
 
With international travel limited, synthetics that are easier to manufacture and more concentrated were likely more efficient to smuggle across borders, Volkow said.
 

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