Op-Ed: Fentanyl pill producers used to mimic other pharmaceuticals, now they don’t have to
The opioid crisis has ravaged communities across the US. In the past four years, the addiction-related overdose death rate has quadrupled. In 2016, there were an estimated 36,000 deaths attributed to opioid overdose — the majority of which were among people between 18 and 34 years old in the US.
According to a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid overdose deaths increased 31 percent between 2005 and 2016, with more than 2,000 American deaths caused by opioid overdose. The report points out that opioid overdose deaths remain high in the United States, despite increased efforts made by national and local governments to reduce the use of prescription drugs and illicit opioids, which were the primary causes of the increase in overdose deaths.
Fentanyl, for example, is a synthetic opioid that has emerged in 2014 as a “powerful, versatile, and increasingly lethal class of drugs,” according to the report. It came about as a result of illicit trade and manufacturing. In recent years, fentanyl has become a highly prevalent painkiller used in opioid overdose, in addition to its ability to quickly kill and kill the user.
Fentanyl has become increasingly popular in recent years because, unlike other drugs, it is relatively cheap and easily available. Fentanyl has been used to treat various pain conditions including chronic pain and opioid overdose. In fact, one of the reasons for the opioid crisis is because so many people are misusing opioid painkillers, including fentanyl, and getting a prescription for a drug that is not what it says on the label.
In the US, the CDC reports that of 9,000 opioid deaths that occurred in 2015, 6,500 of them were attributed to unintentional overdose. In terms of deaths, unintentional overdose is about two to three times higher than prescription opioid overdose deaths. Also, the opioid epidemic has disproportionately impacted Black Americans, who are over three times more likely to suffer opioid overdose.
The opioid overdose deaths, meanwhile, have been disproportionately higher among white Americans than other Americans, which makes the problem even more frustrating. This is because white people have the most access to prescription drugs and, consequently, misuse opioid drugs far more often than other racial groups.
The use of opioids in the United States has also been increasing during the past three decades, as has the amount of opioid overdose deaths. As opioid overdose deaths have increased,