GOP warns of ‘rainbow fentanyl’ as Halloween approaches Read more
When it comes to fentanyl, all drugs taste sweet to the right person. And right now, the right person is the US Senate. On Wednesday, after two days of debate, the Senate voted 68-28 on a motion to force the Trump administration to publish its “compilation of information on fentanyl” so that the public can evaluate its potential dangers.
This was not just a story; it was the story. There is no way to sugarcoat the situation: the US opioid epidemic is the most serious health crisis the country has faced in decades. Every day, opioids are making life in America much more miserable for millions of people. The majority of people who use drugs do so because they want to be in recovery. But when pain has been too much to bear, the drug itself becomes a crutch. More and more, people are turning to hard drugs despite the risks and without being in recovery.
People have been using drugs for centuries. Indeed, most of us use some drugs at some point in our lives, and we all continue to use them to this day. Why we do that, however, is an interesting story.
The opioid epidemic began in the late 1990s, as a result of medical advances. In the 1960s, opioid overdoses were relatively sparse. Heroin addiction, however, would eventually become pervasive, and the addiction would come to define its users.
In the wake of the anti-Vietnam war protests of the late 1960s, many Americans were seeking to change their lives for the better. Many wanted to quit their heroin or cocaine addiction, but drug addicts knew that the only way to do that was to become a drug user. And because the drugs they did not want had become so easy, they turned to easy drugs, such as heroin, prescription pills or oxycodone (an opioid analgesic). Once the drug began to take hold, drug users would find themselves addicted to their choice of substances. And these substances would begin to become the dominant drug choice.
Opioids can no longer be seen as a mere health hazard – they have the potential to end up causing overdose death. As the number of drug users increased, so did overdose deaths. In 1995, over 1,600 people died from drug overdose. By 2016, the