Fentanyl – one of the most popular opioids – although similar to heroin, is much cheaper and more potent than that drug.
When the United States faces the upswing in cases of coronavirus in various states, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) They alerted to another health emergency: that of an opioid overdose.
Information from the Centers released this Wednesday reflects an increase last year of 4.8% in deaths due to excessive consumption of this type of medication.
The office detailed that some 70,980 deaths were reported in the United States, which exceeds the 2017 record of 70,699.
The entity fears a larger increase next year, after declining in 2018 in three decades.
Fentanyl and other similar synthetic opioids are credited with some 36,500 deaths or more than half the deaths.
Fentanyl, although similar to heroin, is much cheaper and more powerful.
According to statistics, more than 35 states reported an increase in overdose deaths, while 13 reflected declines. South Dakota reflects the largest increase with 54%; followed by North Dakota, with 31% and Alaska, with 27%.
The above figures show that government prevention efforts have not been sufficient to mitigate the problem.
“We got it to stagnate a bit. Now we need to redouble our efforts and not allow this to get out of hand, “said Robert Anderson, who is responsible for monitoring mortality data at the CDC.
What are opioids
Opioids are a type of medication, including prescription pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and tramadol. In many cases, these narcotics are prescribed by doctors for chronic pain.
Opioids can cause side effects such as drowsiness, mental fog, nausea, and constipation. Also changes in breathing that, in turn, can lead to overdose deaths.