How Pandemics Spread Fentanyl Nationwide and Accelerate Deaths from Overdose | Analysis

Andrew Collodney

For the past 20 years, I have been working to end the opioid epidemic. Public health authorities, researchers and clinicians.. And as the number of deaths from drug overdose hit a record high, I’ve been looking into all of those years.

Still, even knowing that trend, I was surprised Latest tabulation from CDC For the first time, it shows that the number of fatally overdose Americans exceeded 100,000 during the year. 12 months until the end of April 2021. About 100,306 people have died in the United States, Up 28.5% year-on-year.

The surge in deaths is fueled by a much more dangerous black market opioid supply. Illegally synthesized fentanyl, a powerful and inexpensive opioid that has been driving increased overdose since its introduction in 2014, is increasingly replacing heroin.

Fentanyl and fentanyl analogs Responsible for almost two-thirds Of the overdose deaths recorded during the 12 months to April 2021.

The surge in deaths from opioid overdose during pandemics reinforces the need for a holistic approach to public health issues.opinion

It is especially tragic that these deaths occur primarily in people with diseases that are both preventable and curable (opioid addiction). Most heroin users want to avoid fentanyl. But more and more, the heroin they seek is mixed with fentanyl, or they buy only fentanyl, which does not contain heroin in the mixture.

While the epidemic of fentanyl was the main cause of the proliferation of deaths from overdose, the coronavirus pandemic also exacerbated the crisis.

NS Geographical distribution of opioid deaths Reveals that there have been changes during the pandemic month.

Prior to the COVID-19 health crisis, deaths from fentanyl-related overdose surged in the United States. Mainly affects the eastern half of the United StatesIt was hit hard, especially in urban areas such as Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. The possible reason behind this was that in the eastern half of the United States, heroin was available primarily in powder form, rather than the black tar heroin, which is more common in the West. It is easier to mix fentanyl with powdered heroin.

As a result of COVID-19, cross-country traffic has decreased, Smuggling illegal drugs across national borders..Due to border restrictions Difficult to move bulky medicineAs a result, smugglers are becoming more dependent on fentanyl. Fentanyl is more powerful, easier to transport in small quantities and as tablets, and easier to transport by mail. This may have helped spread fentanyl to areas that escaped the previous surge in fentanyl deaths.

With the increase in deaths due to overdose, Pa. How are you fighting the opioid epidemic?

Because of the counterfeit tablets made with fentanyl, opioid addicts seeking prescription opioids instead of heroin are also affected. Is becoming more common..This is why the public health authorities Seattle etc. We have reported many deaths due to the use of counterfeit tablets.

Another factor that may have contributed to the surge in deaths is that the pandemic brought about it. It is difficult for people who depend on opioids to receive direct treatment..

Best of all, what drives opioid addicts to continue using it is that without opioids, they experience the serious symptoms of withdrawal. Treatment with buprenorphine and methadone in particular should be easily accessible. Otherwise, addicts will continue to use heroin, prescription opioids, or illegal fentanyl to prevent withdrawal symptoms.Some treatment centers face blockades, for example, to more patients Take unsupervised methadone at home, But this may not have been enough to offset the disruption in treatment services.

And maintaining access to treatment, especially during a pandemic, is important to avoid recurrence.Studies show that social isolation and stress – this is Became more common During a pandemic – Increase the chances of Recurrence to someone in recovery..

In the past, for someone recovering, one slip may not be the end of the world. However, given the extremely dangerous black market opioid supply, any slip can be fatal.

Andrew Kolodny is a co-director of opioid policy research at Brandeis University.He wrote this work conversation, The place where it first appeared.

How Pandemics Spread Fentanyl Nationwide and Accelerate Deaths from Overdose | Analysis

Source link How Pandemics Spread Fentanyl Nationwide and Accelerate Deaths from Overdose | Analysis

Related Articles

Back to top button