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News Drug overdose deaths top 100,000 annually for the first time, driven by fentanyl, CDC data show

thegreenhand

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Drug overdose deaths top 100,000 annually for the first time, driven by fentanyl, CDC data show
Deidre McPhillips
CNN
17 Nov 2021

America's drug epidemic is the deadliest it has ever been, new federal data suggests.

More than 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States during the 12-month period ending April 2021, according to provisional data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That's a new record high, with overdose deaths jumping 28.5% from the same period a year earlier and nearly doubling over the past five years.

Read the full story here.
 

thegreenhand

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Very typical fear mongering imo. Focuses on fentanyl but fails to mention rates of polydrug overdoses. Also a DEA quote about seizing “enough fentanyl this year to give every American a lethal dose”.

Signature Volkow and Kolodny quotes too ofc
 

dalpat077

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You beat me to this one! Below is an alternate take on the topic. Although doesn't detract THAT much from CNN's narrative.



Focuses on fentanyl but fails to mention rates of polydrug overdoses.
Yep. 100% correct observation. I don't know why this little nugget is always left out. The only report I've ever read/heard where there was a breakdown given was for that of Scotland for 2020 (released July 2021). Of the however many opioid deaths reported: 70% of them were as a result of Fentanyl PLUS [insert veritable list of additional substances here i.e. either another opioid or, what seems to be a firm favorite and a growing problem, benzodiazepines, and usually more than one flavor].


“enough fentanyl this year to give every American a lethal dose”.
And which, I can only fathom, is based on the usual guesstimate or approximation of 2mg per person. I've spent a lot of time on this issue. It's BS and a best guess and based on some eye watering mental and mathematical models and gymnastics (which I have posted somewhere around these parts).
 
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SoCalShordie

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“America's drug epidemic is the deadliest it has ever been, new federal data suggests.

More than 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States during the 12-month period ending April 2021, according to provisional data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That's a new record high, with overdose deaths jumping 28.5% from the same period a year earlier and nearly doubling over the past five years.”
Fuck, man. This is so scary. I overdosed on fentanyl myself once, about a year ago. I got into a near fatal car crash & broke my back & had to have reconstructive surgery on my back/spine and had to learn to walk again. It was some serious shit. The hospital I was taken to was trash & they gave me no scrip for pain killers even though I was in more pain than I could have ever imagined in my life.

I was an IV heroin user who had been clean at that point for about 3 years. But since the pain was so extreme, I had a relapse. All I could find after being out of the game so long was fent. I feel like a dumbass now, but when you’re in that kind of pain it really fucks with your mind & I really didn’t understand how serious fentanyl was. I figured since I used to shoot H that I could handle smoking just a little to ease my pain. I took 2 hits off the foil and I was down, Thank god my homie had enough Narcan. Had to be given 3 doses. 2 doses of the nasal spray, and one injection of the shot. Then I finally came to. I’m sure I should have been taken to the hospital, but my homie was probably scared of legal repercussions & I was so ashamed that I had relapsed & didn’t want to worry my family with an relapse & overdose after they already had been through so much after my crash. Only good decision I did make that night was to flush the bag of fent I bought as soon as I came to, since I couldn’t trust myself not to try another hit once my pain started to skyrocket again.

It’s terrifying to me that I was a heavy IV user (though I had been clean a couple years) and all it took for me to overdose was smoking two small hits off the foil. I feel like if other young people knew this, they’d think twice. It’s so fucking crazy to me that there’s a drug out here this strong & taking so many lives.
 

Pharmacist cowboy

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“America's drug epidemic is the deadliest it has ever been, new federal data suggests.

More than 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States during the 12-month period ending April 2021, according to provisional data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That's a new record high, with overdose deaths jumping 28.5% from the same period a year earlier and nearly doubling over the past five years.”
Ya that shit will kill you fast
 

thegreenhand

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Fuck, man. This is so scary. I overdosed on fentanyl myself once, about a year ago. I got into a near fatal car crash & broke my back & had to have reconstructive surgery on my back/spine and had to learn to walk again. It was some serious shit. The hospital I was taken to was trash & they gave me no scrip for pain killers even though I was in more pain than I could have ever imagined in my life.

I was an IV heroin user who had been clean at that point for about 3 years. But since the pain was so extreme, I had a relapse. All I could find after being out of the game so long was fent. I feel like a dumbass now, but when you’re in that kind of pain it really fucks with your mind & I really didn’t understand how serious fentanyl was. I figured since I used to shoot H that I could handle smoking just a little to ease my pain. I took 2 hits off the foil and I was down, Thank god my homie had enough Narcan. Had to be given 3 doses. 2 doses of the nasal spray, and one injection of the shot. Then I finally came to. I’m sure I should have been taken to the hospital, but my homie was probably scared of legal repercussions & I was so ashamed that I had relapsed & didn’t want to worry my family with an relapse & overdose after they already had been through so much after my crash. Only good decision I did make that night was to flush the bag of fent I bought as soon as I came to, since I couldn’t trust myself not to try another hit once my pain started to skyrocket again.

It’s terrifying to me that I was a heavy IV user (though I had been clean a couple years) and all it took for me to overdose was smoking two small hits off the foil. I feel like if other young people knew this, they’d think twice. It’s so fucking crazy to me that there’s a drug out here this strong & taking so many lives.
I’m sorry you had to go through that. I hope you’re doing ok now

Your story, in my opinion, only highlights the need for legal safe supply. If you weren’t denied access to painkillers (which boggles my mind given you had serious spinal surgery) I’m thinking the overdose wouldn’t have occurred.

Maybe we’ll learn our lesson one day…
 

SoCalShordie

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I’m sorry you had to go through that. I hope you’re doing ok now

Your story, in my opinion, only highlights the need for legal safe supply. If you weren’t denied access to painkillers (which boggles my mind given you had serious spinal surgery) I’m thinking the overdose wouldn’t have occurred.

Maybe we’ll learn our lesson one day…
Thank you so much..it was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through that’s for sure. I’m definitely better now, and I totally agree with you about legal safe supply. I had been clean for years and using again never even crossed my mind until I was in that kind of pain. The OD definitely wouldn’t have happened if I was given pain meds.
 

S.J.B.

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Yep. 100% correct observation. I don't know why this little nugget is always left out. The only report I've ever read/heard where there was a breakdown given was for that of Scotland for 2021. Of the however many opioid deaths reported: 70% of them were as a result of Fentanyl PLUS [insert veritable list of additional substances here i.e. either another opioid or, what seems to be a firm favorite and a growing problem, benzodiazepines, and usually more than one flavor].

I've done some deep dives into the Scottish data on Bluelight over the years, given its exceptional completeness. Here is an example. Deaths after the use of a single drug are very rare (always <10% and usually <5% of all drug poisoning deaths).

I would be over the moon if granular data like this ever came out for the United States. Then we would actually have the information needed to assess exactly how well fentanyl fits into this polydrug-is-what-causes-death framework, since fentanyl is nowhere near as big in Scotland as it is in the U.S.
 

dalpat077

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I've done some deep dives into the Scottish data on Bluelight over the years, given its exceptional completeness. Here is an example. Deaths after the use of a single drug are very rare (always <10% and usually <5% of all drug poisoning deaths).

I would be over the moon if granular data like this ever came out for the United States. Then we would actually have the information needed to assess exactly how well fentanyl fits into this polydrug-is-what-causes-death framework, since fentanyl is nowhere near as big in Scotland as it is in the U.S.
Thanks for commenting. And nice work on that post of yours (on the link that you posted).

I thought it was just me that noticed this. Truth be told: I only found out about their way of reporting by sheer chance i.e. on the day that their statistics were released I just happened to be listening to the BBC World Service and they actually announced the figures for 2020 and then interviewed one of the people that compiles the reports (maybe it's on a podcast somewhere still). That's where I heard the 70% Fentanyl statistic (which for obvious reasons piqued my interest at the time so I went to take a look at the Scottish reports). I have to admit that seeing the various substances implicated in drug related deaths and drug poisonings was surprising to me to say the least. Some of which I'd never ever have even given a second thought to in this context. Examples being diazepam and etizolam, gabapentin and/or pregabalin, and methadone. In my jaded brain: those would never have featured nor been on my radar i.e. don't fall under my category of "the usual suspects".

 
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Robi

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loved fent, so much, think of it everyday, even after oding( passed out blue) a few times, i wasnt one for hard drugs, long story longer , i hate that drug, hated myself for even getting into it, but i dont hate self anymore, but if any young adults come to like they did with struggles, i sure will be able to relate now,that was a teaching life experience like no other.Never knew drug addiction or WD and mental health issues like that, near grateful for the experience, made me realize so much i took for granted
 

dalpat077

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loved fent, so much, think of it everyday, even after oding( passed out blue) a few times, i wasnt one for hard drugs, long story longer , i hate that drug, hated myself for even getting into it, but i dont hate self anymore, but if any young adults come to like they did with struggles, i sure will be able to relate now,that was a teaching life experience like no other.Never knew drug addiction or WD and mental health issues like that, near grateful for the experience, made me realize so much i took for granted
You know what I find lacking when it comes to Fentanyl is the lack of discussion about the signs and symptoms of having overdone it on a particular occasion. There's no shortage (obviously) of discussions and observations of what's after the fact. Just an observation. I guess it's easy or intuitive for a regular user to know instinctively that they've crossed a line. But not so for a novice and unsuspecting user is my point.
 

SoCalShordie

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You know what I find lacking when it comes to Fentanyl is the lack of discussion about the signs and symptoms of having overdone it on a particular occasion. There's no shortage (obviously) of discussions and observations of what's after the fact. Just an observation. I guess it's easy or intuitive for a regular user to know instinctively that they've crossed a line. But not so for a novice and unsuspecting user is my point.
When I OD’d I don’t remember anything except feeling so amazing after the first hit & immediately smoking a 2nd hit..immediately after I was down. It happened so fucking fast it’s just crazy. Smoking 2 hits of fent was a million times stronger to me than when I was banging H. It’s insane.
 

dalpat077

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When I OD’d I don’t remember anything except feeling so amazing after the first hit & immediately smoking a 2nd hit..immediately after I was down.
I think you've hit the nail on the head right there. I think what most are not aware of is that although it has a short duration of action: Fentanyl has a relatively long half life and there's the problem right there. Here's but one take on the topic (but of course it depends on where you search and what you read i.e. it's dependent on a variety of factors):

"The pharmacokinetics of fentanyl can be described as a three-compartment model, with a distribution time of 1.7 minutes, redistribution of 13 minutes and a terminal elimination half-life of 219 minutes."
 

thegreenhand

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I would be over the moon if granular data like this ever came out for the United States.
Unfortunately the depth and quality of death investigations in the US varies widely by state and municipality so this data is unlikely to emerge en masse

Some jurisdictions might have a physician performing an in depth medical exam and getting a tox screen done…others might have someone with a high school diploma who is an elected official with no specific training. Only 16 states specify training requirements for coroners…

 
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