The Leading Cause of US Overdose Deaths: Fentanyl

Florida Psychiatrists


While we might get tired of hearing it, the opiate crisis in America is a very real threat. Concerns have been growing for years, and due to a new drug, the stakes are more dire than ever before.

Fentanyl made its entrance into the illicit drug scene around 2012. Since then it has blown past staple drugs like cocaine, meth, and heroin in terms of deaths.

A few years ago the government cracked down on pill mills. These places were supplying people with a prescription for pain medication, people that often developed addictions to pill through legitimate prescriptions after an accident or injury. Just because the pills ran out didn’t mean the addictions did though.

People began turning to other opiates, like heroin, to satisfy their addictions. For suppliers and dealers though, this increase in demand couldn’t always be met. That, plus the increasing pressure by law enforcement on heroin trade, made for the perfect stage for fentanyl.

Today, Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now the leading cause of overdose deaths in the United State. Last year alone it killed more than 21,000 people. Fentanyl is killing more people than ever before. It’s not surprising considering it’s a drug that is 50 times more powerful than morphine and 10 times more potent than heroin.

It’s so deadly too because people aren’t aware they’re ingesting it. Dealers cut heroin with fentanyl or made fake painkillers with it. Users take their normal amount only to end up with an amount strong enough to kill them.

And now, Fentanyl’s reign as king of overdose deaths may be ended by it’s even more powerful cousin, Carfentanil which is also a synthetic opiate. It remains to be seen how bad this epidemic will get, and what will be done about it.

If you, or someone you love, is struggling with a drug addiction don’t wait. Contact one of Florida’s top psychiatrists to get help today.




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