Executive Intelligence Review


Drug Overdoses Shoot Up To Claim 72,000 American Lives Last Year

Aug. 16, 2018 (EIRNS)—A preliminary estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows drug overdoses killed about 72,000 Americans last year, a record number that reflects a rise of around 10%, the New York Times reported on Aug. 15. According to analysts referred to in the article, two major reasons for the increase are: A growing number of Americans are using opioids, and drugs are becoming more deadly. According to the CDC estimates, overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids rose sharply, while deaths from heroin, prescription opioid pills and methadone fell, the article reported.

“The number of opioid users has been going up in most places, but not at this exponential rate,” said Brandon Marshall, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Brown University School of Public Health. “The dominant factor is the changing drug supply,” he noted, according to the Times.

“Strong synthetic opioids like fentanyl and its analogues have become mixed into black-market supplies of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and the class of anti-anxiety medicines known as benzodiazepines. Unlike heroin, which is derived from poppy plants, fentanyl can be manufactured in a laboratory, and it is often easier to transport because it is more concentrated.”