Opioid Epidemic USA.
What many on the street and those professionals at the “coalface” of drug addiction have been stating loud and clear for some time now has finally forced decisive action from The White-House on the Opioid Epidemic USA.
September 11th every 3 weeks:
The latest figures released have placed the shocking scale of the country’s opioid epidemic at just short of 150 deaths each day. In March of this year President Trump convened a commission to look into the situation. The commission released a preliminary report in July urging a national emergency on prescription drug use to be invoked. After further consultation and the rising death toll President Trump has finally declared a National Emergency over prescription drug use.
The major culprit – Fentanyl:
Opioid Epidemic USA – The major suspect of so many overdoses resulting in this horrendous and continuing death toll is Fentanyl. This prescribed opiate is amongst the strongest painkillers on the planet. Its power is shown in the fact that its main use is for pain-reducing interventions. This includes when a person is recovering from surgery or they are already on a strong painkiller but suffer breakthrough pain.
Fentanyl has short-duration effects and must be administered with extreme care. The capabilities of the drug mean there is a very fine line between a dose which eases pain and one that will result in overdose and death. It is clear that the number of addicts dying every day are crossing this line on an all to regular basis.
Rapid, devastating dependence:
Medical safety regulations clearly state that fentanyl should be taken under supervision and for short periods of treatment time only. The reason behind this is that the drug is ultra-addictive and rapidly creates an increased tolerance for those using it.
An example of how a tolerance grows and devastating addiction follows is the fact that someone given the same dose of fentanyl for 5 or 6 consecutive days will initially feel the desired effects. However, the same dose will barely register its effects on the user the following week. This obviously means to achieve those effects a user need to take more of the same. It is these constant increases in dosage that are killing.
The year to March 2017 has recorded more than 65,000 deaths attributed to drug overdose. This is a 19% increase on the preceding year.
An even more startling statistic is that in excess of 560,000 people have died between 1999 and 2015. That is equivalent to the population in the state of Atlanta. Of these drug-related deaths almost two thirds were attributed to opioids such as Percocet, OxyContin and Fentanyl. All are available on prescription and the rest, the illegal opioid heroin.
Two telling facts:
Two telling facts from the report highlighted that the number of people dying from drug abuse is now totaling the amount of lives lost during September 11th atrocities every 3 weeks. Just as worryingly is the prediction that if drugs are not yet affecting individual communities and families. They very soon will be as drug abuse and addiction rampage through the country.
Opioid Epidemic USA – The importance of government action cannot be understated. The level that this problem has been allowed to reach needs answers. More importantly urgent initiatives relating to the increase of treatment facilities, mandatory education programmes and additional budget to the Drug Enforcement Agency and FBI to counter the influx of illegal substances into the country need to be put in place as a matter of utmost urgency.
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