Opioid Deaths in US by Type (click for full-size)



Far, far more. The numbers we see in a cursory search are staggering. According to the Society of Actuaries, more than 400,000 Americans have died from drug overdoses since the year 2000, the year they started keeping stats on reported ODs. No agency has made a guesstimate of how many drug overdose-caused bodies of addicts whose unidentified and uncounted remains end up in municipal morgues and potters’ fields.

LD_fentanyl.jpgThere is one stat that is apparent to trained medics and police: the introduction of the synthetic opioid fentanyl from illicit sources, including China, is driving the death trend-line statistic up almost vertically. 

Fentanyl is less expensive than other synthetic opioids such as hydrocodone and oxycontin to produce and is 80 to 100 times more powerful.

Police in Dayton. Ohio recently interdicted 40 pounds of fentanyl in one shipment, enough to kill the entire population of Ohio; enough that one official with Homeland Security to term fentanyl a “Weapon of Mass Destruction.”

The number of deaths is appalling, but you say “I’m never going to experiment with opioids of any kind.” Nevertheless, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention estimate the annual cost to prevent and treat the Opioid Crises is costing we taxpayers an average of $79-Billion annually; a number not to be sneezed at.

There should be a way of exacting part of these costs from China.

-Phil Richardson, Storyteller and Observer of the Human Condition. 


Our unending thanks to Jim Bromley, who programs our Archive of Prior Commentaries

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