As we wrap up another year of fighting the good fight against addiction, we reflect on the stories that shape our field. The first two items on our list are so discouraging to report on as they have had deadly repercussions. The third story reminds us that there is hope for change.
- Fentanyl Wreaks Deadly Havoc Amongst Opiate Users
- The Influx of Fake Prescription Pills from China Has Tragic Results
- Public Health Emergency Declared and the Slow Wheels of Legislation Begin to Turn
Fentanyl is stronger than oxycodone (the active ingredient in OxyContin) and 100 times stronger than morphine. The inevitable result of this deadly narcotic’s increasing availability was thousands of additional accidental overdoses, including some major “rashes” of overdoses like those experience in Sacramento, where 28 people died in short order after a batch of the drug entered the opiate using community.
As we’ve written about, the transition from using prescription drugs like Vicodin and Percocet to injecting heroin might seem shocking to those who’ve never experienced opiate addiction. But, it is a natural progression for those that get hooked and can no longer afford or obtain the expensive medications.
Chinese manufacturers have identified an illicit market for the pills (which every opiate addict will covet) and have taken to flooding the market with counterfeit medications. Unfortunately, the ingredients and potency of the drugs can vary widely and just as in the fentanyl example above, the result is many additional accidental overdoses.
Lawmakers, including The President himself have raised the alarm and started to enact legislation that will help stem the tide of opiate addiction. In a recent statement released by The White House, a Public Health Emergency is officially declared. Earlier this year, there was a new Opioid Commission created which held it’s first meeting on June 16th.
There has been a trickle of legislation over the course of the last few years with some notable results (like making Narcan widely available over the counter), but many initiatives that would be invaluable to saving lives (like the creation of a universal prescription monitoring database) have disappointingly stalled.
Make Your 2018 Storylines Great With Our Help
If you know someone who is struggling with a chemical dependency, the good news is that help is available and the treatment is better than ever before. Contact our facility if you want to learn more about the process of getting treatment for an addiction. We are standing by at (877)228-2401.