Buying drugs on the street is a game of Russian roulette. From Xanax to cocaine, drugs or counterfeit pills purchased in nonmedical settings may contain life-threatening amounts of fentanyl.
The number of individual pills seized by law enforcement increased nearly 50-fold from the first quarter of 2018 to the last quarter of 2021 and the proportion of pills to total seizures more than doubled, with pills representing over a quarter of illicit fentanyl seizures by the end of 2021.
The soaring death toll has been fueled by a much more dangerous black market opioid supply. Illicitly synthesized fentanyl – a potent and inexpensive opioid that has driven the rise in overdoses since it emerged in 2014 – is increasingly replacing heroin. Fentanyl and fentanyl analogs were responsible for almost two-thirds of the overdose deaths recorded in the 12 months period ending in April 2021.
Nationwide, there has been a 31% increase in overdose deaths during the pandemic compared with the year before, fueled largely by the presence of the potent opioid fentanyl in heroin, methamphetamines and other illicit drugs.
Health officials urge people to carry naloxone and know overdose signs
Opioid users may need multiple care episodes with buprenorphine before their recovery trajectory is established.
Doctors say requirement to take an 8-hour course and submit to Drug Enforcement Administration oversight has stymied the drug’s availability.
These last two weeks mark a sharp increase—double the average number of weekly fatal overdoses throughout much of 2020.
“Telehealth sessions have been a lifeline for those walking the long road to recovery during a stressful, isolating time.”
Emotional pain and chronic pain are related, and painkillers, ultimately, make things worse
A meta-analysis of the studies found cannabis use didn’t reduce illicit opioid use during treatment nor did it retain people in treatment.
A non-profit wants to open a safe injection site in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, known for high-quality, cheap heroin and daily overdose deaths.
Alcohol ramps up the effects of drugs that act on the brain and nervous system, and vice versa, which increases the risk of overdose.
Patient “brokers” can make initial commissions of as much as $2,000 for each patient they recruit for for-profit opioid treatment programs.
Fentanyl has been found in illicit M30, V48 and A215 pills and various powder products.