The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned of an increase in the supply of illicit synthetic opioids that are several times stronger than prescription painkiller fentanyl. According to the health warning issued on July 11, 2018, the rampant production of synthetic and lab-made opioid drugs are claiming more lives than ever before. The CDC also said that multiple doses of naloxone would be required, if an individual suffered an overdose involving synthetic opioids.
As per the CDC’s latest report, the death rate due to an overdose has nearly doubled between 2015 and 2016. The CDC reported an over 55 percent rise in deaths due to overdose involving synthetic opioids between December 2016 and November 2017. This is much more than 20,000 overdose deaths from synthetic opioids in 2016. “The dramatic rise in the supply of illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs has been mirrored by an equally dramatic rise in deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, a category which includes fentanyl and fentanyl analogs,” warned the CDC.
The federal agency has alerted health care professionals, medical examiners, and first responders to test overdose patients if they need an extra care. The statement was issued in the wake of the rising supply and potency of illicitly manufactured fentanyl analogs like carfentanil and furanylfentanyl in the drug market across the country. “Orally ingested counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl or fentanyl analogs may require prolonged dosing of naloxone in the ED hospital setting due to a delayed toxicity that has been reported in some cases,” said the CDC in its warning.
Growing opioid epidemic in US
The drug epidemic is causing havoc across the U.S., with official figures suggesting 42,000 deaths in 2016 due to opioid overdose. According the CDC analysis, lacing illicit as well as prescription drugs with synthetic opioids such as carfentanil has been the primary factor for the multiplying profits of drug dealers, and for the sudden increase in the overdose deaths. In the U.S., more teenagers and young people are losing their lives due to opioid overdoses. As a result, the death rate due to drug overdoses increased significantly from 2014 to 2017.
Fortunately, opioid addiction can be treated with timely medical intervention. It is similar to any other substance abuse. Therefore, detoxification is the first line of treatment to attain recovery from opioid dependence. However, treating opioid addiction can be challenging because the detoxification process often includes prescription medicines in order to overcome the withdrawal symptoms. So, it is advisable to seek help from a professional and certified drug detox center. One should be aware of the fact that opioid addiction can have life-threatening consequences, if left untreated for long.
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