Deaths from opioids have been rising sharply for years, and drug overdoses already kill more Americans under age 50 than anything else. STAT asked leading public health experts at 10 universities to forecast the arc of the epidemic over the next decade. The consensus: It will get worse before it gets better.
There are now nearly 100 deaths a day from opioids, a swath of destruction that runs from tony New England suburbs to the farm country of California, from the beach towns of Florida to the Appalachian foothills.
In the worst-case scenario put forth by STAT’s expert panel, that toll could spike to 250 deaths a day, if potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil continue to spread rapidly and the waits for treatment continue to stretch weeks in hard-hit states like West Virginia and New Hampshire.
State medical boards are cracking down on opiate prescribers, however a lot of folks are now getting illegal substances on the street. When a prescriber stops writing them, the addict WILL find another way to stay out of withdrawal. Now that we have fentanyl, carfentanil “gray death” that is so toxic that paramedics respond to OD’s in full hazmat gear and just brushing some of the “dust” off of your shirt is enough to kill as nearly happened to a police officer after responding to an OD call as mentioned in an earlier blog on this site. It reminds me of the old Chinese curse; “may you live in interesting times”!