Who are these people?

More than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2020. “We are in an enduring crisis that is still going on. We are still right in the middle of it…”

The 29.4% increase is an alarming jump from 2019, which also set a record after 71,000 people died from drug overdoses, according to CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics…

The spike in deaths was driven by the increased presence of the dangerous opioid fentanyl into the illicit drug market in the US, along with increased isolation among people who use drugs and overwhelmed public health agencies during the pandemic. The increase is only the latest in a long-running epidemic of overdose deaths steadily rising over the last half-century, with more than half a million people dying as a result of drug overdoses in the last decade alone…

While fentanyl is now linked to 3 out of 5 overdose deaths nationwide, the preliminary statistics suggest deaths from methamphetamine, cocaine, and prescription pain pills also increased in the last year. That likely reflects their contamination with fentanyl, and increasing use of multiple drugs together, said Volkow. As little as 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be a lethal dose; one survey conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration reported that 26% of counterfeit pain pills contained that dosage or higher.

We know all the usual steps needed to fightback…including policing producers of ingredients used by the makers of counterfeit drugs. One constant remains. A junkie is a junkie is a junkie. Straightening out that personality disorder still seems to be beyond modern American medicine.

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