Over 64,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, and this year is on track to surpass that number. Opioids are the well-known culprit in a good majority of those deaths, but more specifically, fentanyl is largely to blame for the increased spike over the years. While opioid addiction often starts with a legal prescription from a doctor, it, unfortunately, does not end there.
Many times, opioid users progress to using stronger, deadly drugs, such as heroin. This is largely in part due to the drug’s higher potency and accessibility. And, what is being found more often is that heroin is now laced with fentanyl, an opioid analog that is 50 – 100 times stronger than morphine. The drug is so deadly, that only a few granules could easily kill a person. This puts both users and anyone that comes in physical contact with it, in grave danger. That includes family members and first responders.
One may wonder why someone would gamble with such a deadly substance. Unfortunately, users are often unaware that their heroin is mixed with fentanyl, being the cause of a large percentage of overdoses in 2016. Of the 64,000, fentanyl and other opioid analogs were responsible for over 20,000 deaths last year.
Unsuspecting users are falling victim every day to fentanyl, and now the drug is being found in more than just heroin. Fentanyl-laced cocaine is now becoming a national issue, affecting users in several states across the country. While cocaine is a dangerous substance on its own, this mixture is lethal for anyone who comes in contact with it. The numbers say it all.
Even though heroin users are never sure if their drugs are laced with fentanyl, they now know the risk they are taking by purchasing the drug. Cocaine, on the other hand, is a different issue entirely. No, we cannot forget a common occurrence among many drug users, known as “speedballing.” That is where addicts will mix both cocaine and heroine together to achieve a greater high. This has been known to be an exceptionally dangerous mixture, especially now with fentanyl in the picture.
Nevertheless, there is another trend that is affecting unsuspecting users. Cocaine is well-known as a “party drug,” one that is sometimes considered more acceptable in social situations, such as college parties, and among corporate executives. Due to this “acceptability,” officials believe that a large number of cocaine users are completely oblivious to the threat among them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that in 2015, cocaine overdoses rose to 6,700, up from 4,000 in 2009. Experts believe that number will explode to nearly 11,000 this year. More specifically, in states like Ohio and Florida, the death toll is overwhelming. In the Sunshine State, deaths related to cocaine rose 57% from 2015, tallying in at a record high of 2,882. In Ohio, fentanyl-laced cocaine accounted for over 1,000 overdose deaths. And finally, in Tennessee, scientists recently detected fentanyl in cocaine supplies for the first time.
Due to the high prevalence of fentanyl, The Drug Enforcement Agency also issued new guidance to police departments and first responders when handling narcotics. Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General warned, “Fentanyl exposure can injure or kill innocent law enforcement officers and other first responders. Inhaling just a few airborne particles could be fatal. The spread of fentanyl means that any encounter a law enforcement officer has with an unidentified white powder could be fatal. Our officers and first responders must approach these situations with the utmost caution.”
Experts believe the overdose epidemic will hit a record-breaking 70,000 for 2017, and say it is largely driven by deadly opioid analogs. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under 50.
Contact Clearbrook For Cocaine & Opioid Addiction Treatment
Both cocaine and opioid addiction have been affecting Americans for countless decades. Nevertheless, with new threats surfacing every day, it is imperative that those in need get the treatment they deserve. More than 140 people die every day from drug overdoses in this country. If you are out there struggling, caught in the grips of addiction, you should know that your story does not have to end that way. It may seem impossible now, but all you have to do is take the first step and reach out. The rest will follow.
At Clearbrook Treatment Centers, you will receive a quality of care that cannot be matched. We will provide you with a full medical detoxification protocol and customized addiction treatment planning, along with an aftercare plan that is suited to your specific needs. As a leader in the treatment industry, it is Clearbrook’s goal to give you best possible chance at achieving lasting sobriety.
If you or someone you know and love is currently struggling with alcoholism or addiction, please allow us to help. Secluded in the beautiful mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, you or your loved one will have the opportunity to begin the journey to wellness in a peaceful environment.
There is hope from addiction…and it is found through recovery!
Please contact our Admissions Specialists today to see how we can help you.