Fentanyl Related Deaths: A Growing National Epidemic

Fentanyl related overdoses resulting in death have skyrocketed nationally. According to the latest report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of deaths related to fentanyl doubled within a six-month period, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

The study looked at the number of overdoses related to fentanyl in ten states which included Rhode Island, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, New Mexico, New Hampshire and Ohio.

What the Report Found

According to the report, the number of deaths from July 2016 through December of the same year tallied 764, each of which was related to fentanyl or a fentanyl analog. In the first half of 2017, from January through June, that number climbed to 1511.

fentanyl drug deaths.

Imagine that in the course of a year in just ten states alone, fentanyl overdoses resulting in death numbered 2,274 lives lost. Unfortunately, that is just the beginning of what is being called a national epidemic.

While the figures are not yet available for the same 12-month period from 2017 through 2018, it is projected that the number of overdoses will once again more than double.

Addiction Is at the Heart of the Problem

According to an article published on CNN, the CDC predicts that nationwide this number will reach 49,000 on a national level from all opioid compounds. Of that number, 60% are expected to be from synthetic opioids like carfentanil and fentanyl. Addiction is at the heart of the problem and as the result of government’s stricter regulations on prescribing opioids, more and more addicts are turning to synthetic drugs which are being manufactured on the black market. There is no way to control the strength of street drugs, and it is believed that this is why so many addicts overdose from fentanyl.

Is Addiction Environmental or Genetic?

In seeking to address the problem, many experts are looking at the question of whether addiction is a genetic predisposition or an environmental issue. Do genetic factors make one person more susceptible to addiction or is it the environment in which they were raised?

Actually, a holistic treatment program will address addiction in terms of both genetics and environment. They seek to treat the entire person rather than just one area of an addict’s life. While many addicts come from the lower socioeconomic segment of our population, even the rich and famous succumb to fentanyl as indicated by the death of superstar and multimillionaire, Prince.

In the end, death by fentanyl overdose will continue at epidemic proportions and treatment centers around the country are seeking to better educate clients as to the very real dangers of this lethal substance. Drug addiction of any kind can result in death, but fentanyl is proving to be the most lethal of all and there is evidence that it is now being added to everything from opioids to cannabis.

This is one street drug which needs to be addressed and it is hoped that through better treatment facilities and education, the general public will begin to understand the very real dangers.

Environmental or genetic, the danger of death by overdose is very real. That’s the latest CDC warning.