In one incident, 500,000 fentanyl pills were found during an Arizona traffic stop.
As bureaucrats and the media attempt to distract Americans with monkeypox and gun control, perhaps it is good to focus on a valid national health crisis: fentanyl overdoses.
As a reminder, over 100,000 citizens died of opioid overdoses last year.
Provisional data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics indicate that there were an estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States during 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period the year before.
The new data documents that estimated overdose deaths from opioids increased to 75,673 in the 12-month period ending in April 2021, up from 56,064 the year before. Overdose deaths from synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) and psychostimulants such as methamphetamine also increased in the 12-month period ending in April 2021. Cocaine deaths also increased, as did deaths from natural and semi-synthetic opioids (such as prescription pain medication).
The grim consequence is that more organs are now available for transplant from drug overdose victims. One doctor tied the overdoses to the pandemic lockdowns.
Dr Peter Lymberopoulos, from St George’s University in the Caribbean country of Grenada, who carried out the research, said the results were ‘surprising’ given how many operations were canceled.
He added that the 20 percent uptick from overdose victims was likely due to more people taking drugs to cope with economic and social pressures during lockdowns.
About 8,000 liver transplants are performed in the U.S. every year estimates suggest, for people who have suffered a failure of the organ — often due to infection from viruses, cancers and lifestyle factors such as being a heavy alcohol drinker.
It is safe to take livers from overdose patients because these are all tested for diseases before transfer, and cannot pass on any drug addiction. It is also the only organ capable of re-generating itself after damage.
As if all this isn’t dreadful enough, teenagers and young adults turn to social media to find Percocet, Xanax, and other pills, which are increasingly being laced with fentanyl.
Supplies of tainted pills, crudely pressed by Mexican cartels with chemicals from China and India, have escalated commensurately. Fentanyl, faster and cheaper to produce than heroin and 50 times as potent, made for a highly addictive filler. Last year, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration seized 20.4 million counterfeit pills, which experts estimate represent a small fraction of those produced. Its scientists say that about four out of 10 pills contain lethal doses of fentanyl.
The result is that new waves of customers are swiftly becoming addicted, said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “When you are putting fentanyl in pills that are sold as benzodiazepines or for pain, you are reaching a new group of customers that you wouldn’t have if you were just selling fentanyl powder.”
How bad is the problem? Two women were recently arrested after cops found about 500,000 fentanyl pills in their SUV when they pulled over the women for speeding on Interstate 10 in Arizona. They were carrying the load with their children in the car.
The pills were found concealed in collagen supplement bottles on Monday during a search that also turned up a handgun and a large amount of cash, police from the small city of Casa Grande south of Phoenix said in a statement.
…In the Arizona traffic stop, Martha Lopez, 31, and Tania Luna Solis, 30, were arrested on suspicion of crimes including possession of a narcotic drug for sale, according to police.
Court records didn’t list attorneys who could comment on behalf Lopez or Solis, who are from Phoenix.
Two children in the vehicle were turned over to state child protection officials, police said.
The problem is everywhere. Bismarck North Dakota Narcotics Task Force officers recently arrested four men who allegedly had at least $56,000 worth of fentanyl pills.
Police executed search warrants on two rooms at the Candlewood Suites, and the search turned up 1,393 fentanyl pills, an ounce of crack cocaine, and smaller amounts of ecstasy and cocaine, according to an affidavit. Police also found seven cellphones, $2,039 in cash, and digital scales in the rooms, the affidavit states. Fentanyl pills are sold for $40 to $60 per pill, officials said.
Unfortunately, addressing this problem does not seem to prioritize much of today’s political leadership.DONATE
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