Drug related deaths in America are rising faster than ever

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by yaxomoxay, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #1
    A very interesting article by the NYT, I suggest that you read it in its entirety to know more about this plague.

    Drug deaths in America are rising faster than ever


    Drug overdose deaths in 2016 most likely exceeded 59,000, the largest annual jump ever recorded in the United States, according to preliminary data compiled by The New York Times. The death count is the latest consequence of an escalating public health crisis: opioid addiction, now made more deadly by an influx of illicitly manufactured fentanyl and similar drugs. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50. Although the data is preliminary, the Times's best estimate is that deaths rose 19 percent over the 52,404 recorded in 2015. And all evidence suggests the problem has continued to worsen in 2017.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive...rdose-deaths-are-rising-faster-than-ever.html
     
  2. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Analogue drugs are going to cause devastation across many places in the years to come. There's a real issue with spice ruining people in the UK to.

    Unfortunately analogues mainly stem from a failed war on drugs. The war on drugs is literally killing more people than "classical" drugs.
     
  3. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    #3
    "Analogue" = "synthetic"?
     
  4. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #4
    That efficient private health care system in action again.... This is US-specific problem that arose when a pharma company wanted to boost its profits by selling opiates and now opiate addiction is spinning out of control in the US. This is what happens when you take something that is meant to be about caring for people and turn it into a profit-making machine.
     
  5. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #5
    More like derivative- generally drug molecules that are similar in structure but maybe one or two molecules or functional groups different, yielding similar effects.
     
  6. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #6
    I though the US had laws about minor variants of a controlled substance....
     
  7. Chew Toy McCoy macrumors regular

    Chew Toy McCoy

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    #7
    Merica's solution: Put more drug users in prison.
     
  8. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #8
    The market has been flooded and it gets into the hands of others. We have a problem with overprescribing prescription drugs to hit a sales quota. This has come back to bite us in the ass. Meanwhile the war on street drugs continues to be a massive failure. It's a perfect storm that was forming for 40 years.
     
  9. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #9
    Murikas solution is to legally drug our children, gazillion kids in Ritalin & Adderall :(
     
  10. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #10
    This is a big problem I don't think is not talked about enough. @VulchR astutely pointed out, much of the opiate problems can be traced back to OxyContin/Perdue Pharma. But the issues with Perdue have largely been addressed, prescibing laws are much more stringent, state drug control databases are now widely in effect... but really it's still not enough.

    Here in the Northeast OxyContin started it all, but when they switched to an "abuse proof" formulation, no one cared about it but the price of instant release (easily abusable) Oxycodone skyrocketed. That in turned pushed everyone to the much cheaper (and in many cases easier to acquire) heroin. Heroin often contains or is fentanyl... which is even more potent.

    And now we have a huge mess on our hands. Cutting off the drug supply is one issue. Providing adequate access to treatment is another. Both are significant problems.
     
  11. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #11
    There's money to be made. Free market and some such.
     
  12. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    #12
    A recent New Yorker piece talked about how drug cartels took over the "market" (when money changes hands for a product, it's a "market", even illegal and unregulated) after Oxy was reformulated to be abuse-proof.

    The piece's author rode with an ambulance in small-town West Virginia. Saw four overdoses in one day. Not many other calls besides those.
     
  13. DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a

    DrewDaHilp1

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    #13
  14. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #14
    I didn't start the commentary on them, just defined what they are.

    Yes, controlled substance analogues are illegal under the Federal Analogue Act. I suppose the benefit of analogues aka "designer drugs" is that when they are created they may not be immediately identified as illicit substances and/or sold under the sold as research chemicals rather than drugs. In that some of these drug designs were novel, that circumvented the Federal Analogue Act and then must be scheduled independently.
     
  15. zone23 macrumors 68000

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    #15
    The dealers here are mixing heroin and fentanyl, people are ODing like crazy. They are using 3 sometimes 4 doses of narcan to revive people who just go right back out and do it again. Not only are the users dying but we now have little kids that are living with there grandparents and some have gotten fentanyl on them and OD as well, I believe a one year old died of overdose. We had a police officer OD after wiping fentanyl off his shirt by accident.
     
  16. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #16
    I work at a psychiatric hospital- we have inpatient and outpatient programs of course. I personally have narcan'ed 4 people in the past 2-3 years at work (all outpatients). My work just gave me a $5000 nalaxone autoinjector (Evzio) last week, with the hope it will work slightly better than the intranasal narcan, because yes, in a growing number of cases 1-2 doses of intranasal Narcan/nalaxone is not enough. (But everyone should be aware to space out the doses every 2-3min as it takes time to get absorbed.)

    One of the OD's I treated I gave (the only) two intranasal doses immediately available with no response. Lucky for the patient we were close to the pharmacy and I was able to quickly acquire a vial of nalaxone and syringe to dose him IV- which worked. The kid was VERY lucky. It's amazing how strong the crap is on the streets.
     
  17. DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a

    DrewDaHilp1

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    #17
    What happens if too much Narcan is administered?
     
  18. A.Goldberg, Jun 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017

    A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #18
    The short answer: It's really not a concern. In most people, you'd need very high amounts to cause problems- Naloxone has a large therapeutic window, the lethal dose is ~250mg/kg body weight (not sure what route of admin that is but regardless it's very high considering the normal intranasal dose is 2-4mg and parenterally dosed in microgram increments). Ultimately you're giving someone Narcan because they're dying (or maybe even technically dead), so possible side effects are negligible in an emergency setting.

    The most important thing if you've administered Narcan is to make sure 911 is called and that the patient agrees to go to the hospital. #1 Because Narcan's duration of action is quite short, so people may fall back into overdose. Most people have limited Narcan on hand, so if the person OD's again you're in trouble. #2 The person should be medically evaluated after an overdose (in the rare even nalaxone had serious adverse effects, they'd be addressed here). #3 They should be persuaded with the help of hospital staff to seek addiction treatment.


    -------
    The long answer- It's pretty much impossible to feasibly overdose someone with Narcan unless you had access to hundreds of kits. Narcan can however cause cardiac arrythmias, pulmonary edema, hyper- or hypotension, and cardiac arrest. This is VERY uncommon though, and basically limited to people with existing cardiac issues and old age. The use in pregnant woman is safe to the fetus directly but could cause fetal distress due to induced withdrawal. But again, the benefit outweighs the risk, and that's all that should be considered when it's a life or death situation
     
  19. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #19
    I wonder what Jared is doing about it.

    I'm sure he'll figure it out.
     
  20. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Eating sausage footlong in prison? Oh you mean the other one.
     
  21. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #21
    Yah we recently had local EMS responders enroute to hospital have to get permission to apply a 4th hit of narcan while reviving a college student who had previously OD'd on opiates and been revived only a month or so before that incident. It's appalling to realize the US is now losing more people annually to death from opiate addiction than the total count of American military who died in the entire Vietnam war. To combat the scourge, one hardly knows where to start, but... at the demand end, yes? -- since the supply will find its way there as long as demand exists. We have long lived in a feel-good-thru-chemistry culture, so it's going to be a tough slog.
     
  22. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #22
    In America, there's a problem abusing prescription narcotics and even OTC drugs. Seems to be overwhelming in certain areas of the country often among a specific socioeconomic class.

    Didn't tamper proof drug Nexafed affect the meth market heavily?
    --- Post Merged, Jun 8, 2017 ---
    I'm inclined to share your sentiment, but at the the same time, the chances of recovery and being clean go down as time passes by. I'm not exactly fraught with disappointment in strangers practically offing themselves. Probably clean up the gene pool as far as I'm concerned.
     
  23. ThisBougieLife macrumors 65816

    ThisBougieLife

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    #23
    I read the article in the New Yorker that has also been referenced. It mentioned how the main victims of the opiate crisis are working class white people in rural areas, particularly those in the Rust Belt. Drug problems were once portrayed as an issue of the inner city, but now it's America's small towns that seem to be suffering the most. I think it's important to tackle the issues that cause people to turn to drugs in the first place. Not that I have many solutions, but in these rural towns there's often a sense of despair and hopelessness, a lack of direction, a feeling of inadequacy that push people to numb it all with drugs. The article also mentioned over-burdened rehab clinics and a lack of mental health care playing a role in the worsening crisis.
     
  24. Foggydog macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Since I have never used drugs, I'm not understanding part of your post. How can a police officer OD from just wiping fentanyl off his shirt? Thx
     
  25. DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a

    DrewDaHilp1

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    Absorbed through the skin.
     

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