It’s a Fentanyl Crisis: Pills areYesterday’s News
It’s been previously reported that the opioid epidemic is changing and shifting. While it all started with painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, it quickly shifted to heroin and then to fentanyl. The issue with fentanyl seemed to grow slowly then exploded. While addicts started to overdose here and there, it picked up steam rather quickly and turned into a monstrous epidemic, damaging families permanently. While new opioid addicts are still created on a daily basis and lives are lost just as frequently, the overall opioid crisis has morphed from a painkiller crisis, to a heroin crisis, to what’s now being considered a fentanyl crisis and our society has surely paid the price for dancing with the devil.
Last year’s body count from opioid overdoses was a highest-ever statistic which was directly linked to an increase of illicit fentanyl ravaging city streets. While years ago, the main cause of death was painkillers and heroin, fentanyl is now largely to blame. Prescriptions for painkillers has been cracked down on in most states, causing the black-market supply to dry up. At the same time, less and less heroin is being found because fentanyl is a much cheaper alternative and widens the profit margin for drug dealers. They can sell a bag of fentanyl for the same price as a bag of heroin and no one is the wiser. Fentanyl was actually implicated in 60% of the opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States in 2017 and the projection for 2018 is looking dismal, at best.
Most of the street-bought fentanyl is being created in Chinese laboratories and imported by drug dealers and cartel members. Years ago, when Obama was in office, our government tried to get the Chinese’s cooperation with shutting down the constant shipping of fentanyl and more recently, we enhanced the country’s ability to detect drug shipments but to no avail. Fentanyl still sneaks by the thousands upon thousands of mail and packages coming and going on a daily basis.
The demand for fentanyl is higher than ever before in history and that side of the whole problem should be looked at. While illegal shipments of the drug doesn’t make things any easier, we have to cut down on the fact that a lot of people actually want fentanyl, as ridiculous and crazy as that sounds. So far, it seems like a lot of effort has been put into shutting down the supply of fentanyl but what about handling the demand for it? Incarceration or punishment surely isn’t the answer to handle the end user but rather rehabilitation and helping a person figure out and handle their addiction once and for all. That seems like a more workable solution because surely more criminals and addicts polish their hustle while in jail or prison rather than finding recovery. It’s a multi-faceted problem that requires a multi-faceted approach and thus far, every attempt to handle the issue has been a day late and a dollar short.