LET’S TALK ABOUT….OPIOID EPIDEMIC GETTING WORSE!!! Just as I am gearing up to celebrate NATIONAL WELLNESS WEEK, I hear Jennifer Ludden on “Morning Edition”, PBS News, talking about “carfentanil.:
“A powerful drug that’s normally used to tranquilize elephants is being blamed for a record spike in drug overdoses in the Midwest…. The synthetic opioid is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, the prescription painkiller that led to the death earlier this year of the pop star Prince.”
The epicenter of the distribution point spiking overdoses is in the Midwest spreading thickly through the New England States, and contaminating every state in the US. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports the five states with the highest rates of death due to drug overdose are Ohio, Kentucky, New Hampshire, West Virginia, and New Mexico. Officials in Ohio have declared a public health emergency, and the DEA says communities everywhere should be on alert for carfentanil.
According to the DEA “…much of the carfentanil being sold on the streets is illicitly imported from China…or brought in by Mexican drug traffickers.” Carfentanil has also been known to be part of Russia’s chemical arsenal.
In addition to the illicit use of shooting carfentanil into the body with a needle, it is also absorbed into the body via inhalation, oral exposure or ingestion, or skin contact.
Carfentanil is so potent that it can be dangerous to anyone who simply touches or inhales it. First Responders are encouraged by the CDC to use HAZMAT suits and precautions when entering a contaminated area.
Tom Synan, police chief in the epicenter of the carfentanil crises, believes this is just the beginning of the synthetic opioids that are making their way into the US. He also points out that “…selling drugs on the street is considered a nonviolent crime…to me, it’s intentional. It’s murder.”
To me, I am starting to believe that this opioid epidemic is an act of homegrown terrorism. When outside forces influences the destruction of US citizens, I consider that terrorism. This opioid epidemic is a biological weapon that is taking the lives of our citizens. When compared to other terrorist attacks in the US the fatalities are astounding:
Timothy McVeigh, 1995 Oklahoma Bombing killed 168 people
September 11, 2001 Attacks on New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC, killed an estimated 3000+ people and injured over 6000.
From 1999-2014 Opioids responsible for the death of more than 165,000 US citizens (CDC); 4.3 million Americans engaged in non-medical use of opioids each month.
I had a conversation with a 35 year old, intelligent, friend that has been addicted to heroin since he was 16 years old: “There is another drug being cut into heroin by the Cartel called carfentanil.” I explained the origin, dangers, and mortality rates to him.
“Why are you telling me this?”
“I want you to know what your options are on the streets.”
Silently sad in my head, I was screaming, “I want to save your life. Please start making healthier decisions.” I couldn’t get the image out of my mind of his body being carried away by someone in a HAZMAT suit.
Glad we talked about this. Of course, it is just my opinion.
“Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.
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