A majority of the substances fueling this health crisis are 100% legal. However, one opioid has been leaving a trail of suffering people and dead bodies in its destructive path: fentanyl. Responsible for the death of musicians Prince and Tom Petty, has risen to become a national crisis, afflicting hundreds of thousands of Americans and, recently rising to a new level of infamy. According to federal health officials, fentanyl is now the most dangerous drug in the United States.
How Fentanyl Became a National Pandemic
Over the past decade, the United States has suffered through a nationwide opioid epidemic. Despite attempts to help people suffering from abuse and addiction, the problem only seems to be picking up speed. In 2015 alone, an estimated 2 million U.S. residents were living with an opioid painkiller addiction, while an additional 117,000 people died from opiate overdoses.
Though the drug has been in use for years, this is the first time that fentanyl has received the title of America’s deadliest drug. Heroin previously held the title, but as the number of deaths caused by fentanyl rose by 113% from 2013 to 2016, fentanyl asserted its deadly dominance in America.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 63,000 U.S. residents died as a result of drug overdoses in 2016 alone averaging to nearly 175 deaths every day. The percentage of Fentanyl-related overdose deaths have skyrocketed from 2011 to 2016, rising from 4% to 29%. These vast increases reveal both the widespread use and the increased potency of this drug.
Something Is Rotten in America
Even as fentanyl became a nationwide pandemic, one its most significant threats come from its propensity to be mixed with other drugs and chemicals.
Dr. Holly Hedegaard, an injury epidemiologist at the National Center for Health Statistics and the lead author of a report into the fentanyl epidemic, stated that overdoses a rarely contained to one type of drug and that people who die from overdoses often have multiple drugs in their bodies.
“We’ve had a tendency to think of these drugs in isolation,” said Dr. Hedegaard.
“It’s not really what’s happening.”
According to Hedegaard, the public at large tends to consider the dangers of addictive substances independently without considering the potential pitfalls of the drugs when they’re combined. For example, 40% of people who died from a cocaine-related overdose also had traces of fentanyl in their bloodstreams, and combinations of fentanyl and heroin also caused a string of accidental deaths in America.
While treating fentanyl addiction in isolation will not stop the opioid crisis, it can have lasting impacts on those suffering. Though the pain caused by fentanyl has spread across the country, you don’t need to suffer alone. A welcoming and professional residential treatment program can provide the care you need if, like thousands of Americans, you are suffering from a fentanyl addiction.
Getting the Drug Addiction Treatment You Deserve
If you are struggling from a severe case of opioid abuse in California or know someone who is suffering through it, multiple resources are at your disposal. It is never too late to save your life or the life of a loved one. At Broadway Treatment Center in Huntington Beach, our addiction
treatment philosophy believes that each of our clients can find and foster ways to live happier and healthier lives. While temptation can be tricky to overcome, you can always overcome your
cravings for drugs and alcohol through a high-quality, integrated addiction recovery program.
The opioid epidemic may have personally affected you and your family, but it doesn’t need to define your entire life or your future. Our staff of trained rehabilitation and addiction experts are ready to guide you on your path toward recovery. If you are interested in our treatment programs, contact us today at (714) 443-8218 to take your first steps to a happier and healthier you.