Forensic data on fentanyl-related deaths is shocking

Fentanyl has been named as the culprit causing the sharp spike in opioid deaths in the United States. New Hampshire began a survey in 2016 of fentanyl-related deaths in the state, and the forensic data reveal some surprising findings suggesting that the causes of the epidemic go well beyond fentanyl and big pharma. “Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous drugs there is,” said Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) in a March 22, 2018 press conference announcing new legislation on distribution and trafficking of the drug. “It killed more than 20,000 Americans last year and has been a driving force behind the opioid crisis in the United States.”

Fentanyl’s high potency increases the likelihood of respiratory problems and the need for a very quick response to deal with overdoses. Other legislators, and lawyers filing class action suits, accuse the pharmaceutical industry of fueling the nation’s opioid crisis by pushing sales of fentanyl and other opioid pain killers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin. Senator Claire McCaskill’s (D-MO) has been especially active in pressuring pharmaceutical companies for culpability in the crisis.

Last week, six more states filed lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies that produce opioids in an effort to address the current crisis. These remedies may fail to cure the nation’s deadly opioid problem if they only treat the symptoms and not the cause. Deaths related to illicit fentanyl overdose in the state of New Hampshire climbed from 145 to 362 in 2016. Researchers reviewed all available data in medical records of people who died from fentanyl-related overdoses in the state, and found that in most cases, the overdose victims had multiple drugs in their system when they died.

The drugs found in combination with fentanyl in overdose victims spans across many different categories: heroin/morphine (21%), non-fentanyl opioids (34.5%), cocaine (31%), benzodiazepines (28%), and alcohol (33%), marijuana (38%), cocaine (37%), antidepressants (24%), and amphetamines (10%).

Fentanyl and other opiates are miracle drugs for people suffering from excruciating pain. According to a CBS news report, 1 out of three Americans used a prescription opioid pain medication in the year 2015, yet only 6% of patients prescribed opioid pain medications for medical purposes: to control pain after injury or surgery; for example, become addicted to opiates.

  • 5 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • Fentanyl is a horrible, horrible drug when it’s not used in a proper medical situation. So dangerous and deadly. :'(
  • 20,000 people died last year b/c of this drug? ugh. it is horrible!
  • And that’s just in the USA, the numbers up here are super devistating as well. Suing the pharmaceutical companies isn’t going to stop the big overdose issues because the fentanyl drug dealers are selling comes from China along with W18 & Carfentanyl... first time I took it, I didn’t know that’s what it was, because everyone called the pills “fake Oxys”
  • @blueorchid and that's scary that so many take it and have no idea what they are taking!!!! glad you are NOT doing that anymore!
  • Thank you @dominica me too! It really ate away at my soul without my realizing it...
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