Fentanyl is a powerful opioid used medicinally as a pain medication and, together with other medications, for anesthesia. However, it is also widely used as a recreational drug, sometimes mixed with heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. Fentanyl is potentially fatal when overdosed.
Recently, total deaths due to Fentanyl overdoses crossed the macabre number of 100,000 deaths in the USA alone. Experts believe that this number, however high, is still grossly under calculated due to under-reporting of drug-related deaths due to reasons like public stigma. They believe that this surge in drug related deaths amongst the new generation is solid grounds to declare it as an epidemic across the US.
Mostly manufactured in China, Fentanyl changes hands with Mexican drug cartels who then mix it up with other recreational drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine in varying proportions and illicitly smuggle it into the US. One major cause of users overdosing is that there is no set proportion of Fentanyl being mixed with drugs, causing many users to overdose without their knowledge. Even though they are consuming the exact same amount of the drug of their choice, the amount of Fentanyl varies. Many users do not get enough time to access appropriate treatment and they die agonizing deaths due to overdosing.
This epidemic is more grave than imagined as experts call for strong actions against it, claiming that the lack of trustworthy data is one cause behind the miscalculation and seemingly inattentive nature of authorities towards it.
How to Deal With Fentanyl
When it comes to dealing with this problem, experts suggest that awareness in the younger generation will go a long way in combating this widespread drug problem and help save lives. Not only that, people should become more responsible as a community and starve this problem of victims, helping each other against drug use. Unfortunately, many experts have given up hopes of nipping the problem at its bud by cutting off the supply and illegal entry of Fentanyl laced drugs into the country as time and again it has proved futile. Therefore, they are opting for raising ethics and awareness against this drug by encouraging school level programs condemning use of syringe recreational drug use, addiction treatments and so on.
Hopefully, people come together as a community and realize that the Fentanyl overdose crisis is as serious as experts are hailing it to be.