Greater Cincinnati Area Shows 1000 Percent Increase in Fentanyl Deaths
Since 2013, deaths related to fentanyl have skyrocketed well past those caused by heroin. Since fentanyl hit every town, city, and state its effects have been felt nationwide, and none of them good. When the drug was first introduced into the drug supply, you’d hear of overdoses here and there and the whispering of a new drug being mixed into the dope to make it stronger. And instead of scaring drug users, they became more intrigued than anything. Addicts started seeking out the heroin that was killing people because that meant it was better, stronger, and you’d get more for your money. As the years went on, fentanyl flooded the nation, but it wasn’t diverted medication from hospitals or pharmacies. Instead, China began mass-producing fentanyl analogues or “knock offs” in shady labs and importing it by the kilo into the United States. Fast-forward 15 years and fentanyl mass-casualty events are almost a normal occurrence. It doesn’t shock us anymore to hear of 30 or more addicts dying in a single day, in just one town. Fentanyl has forever changed the landscape of our country and the problem shows no signs of letting up anytime soon. At this point, there’s more fentanyl on the streets than heroin and believe it or not, it’s in high demand.
In the Greater Cincinnati area, there’s been a 1000% increase in deaths related to fentanyl use since 2013. Over 90% of the drugs analyzed in a local county crime lab showed the presence of fentanyl, which is leading researchers to believe that there’s actually more fentanyl than heroin on city streets. Heroin seems to have put on the back burner with more and more addicts deliberately seeking out fentanyl instead. Seems crazy, right? And it is, but I understand addiction so I get it. But to the objective observer, you see fentanyl in the news almost every day, having claimed the life of a once bright, shining star. Meanwhile, you also hear stories of addicts flocking to the areas responsible for selling the drugs that contained the fentanyl that caused the overdoses.
Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan said, "It is no longer a heroin epidemic but a synthetic-opiate epidemic," which is entirely true. It used to be a painkiller problem. Then it became a heroin problem and finally, it became a synthetic opioid problem. So the problem didn’t just change, it got worse. Synthetic opioids are the leading cause of overdose deaths in the U.S. and as long as we compulsively look toward drugs as a solution to our problems, the chemists will continue to make it, the smugglers will continue to ship it, and dealers will continue to sell it. Death is a profitable business these days and unless we completely shift our viewpoint on how to handle this epidemic, it’s going to continue to get worse and worse each day.