Why is the Opioid Epidemic now considered a “National Emergency”?
One word, “Fentanyl”.
Health experts and government officials blame the increase on more powerful opioids in the black market. Fentanyl is the number one chemical that is being seen repeatedly in cases of overdose. This drug is being used to cut heroin, its sheer potency causes drugs to be far more potent than expected.
Legal opioids continue to see widespread prescriptions. Producing a similar high to heroin, once addiction sets in and prescriptions dry up, teens turn to heroin to continue the habit. But since heroin isn’t sold in standard doses, let alone standard strengths, an overdose is almost inevitable.
Keeping teens away from drugs has always been a problem. Combine a tendency for pushing boundaries with an impulsive decision-making process, and it spells trouble. The centers in the brain that regulate risk assessment doesn’t fully develop until the mid-twenties.
Even worse, the search for even greater thrills and stronger highs leads them to try harder substances. Unfortunately, far too many dealers don’t care about anything other than repeat business, and addicts ensure that. Heroin practically guarantees it.
With even the US President calling for “National Emergency” measures to stem the epidemic, something needs to be done. Every young life lost to drugs could have been one that went on to great things. Future doctors, scientists, philosophers, artists, and parents all lost to highly addictive and deadly drugs.
The most successful programs to curb the use of drugs in kids involve truthful education, positive reinforcement, and parental involvement. But so far, nothing has proven powerful enough to stop it, even harsh drug laws.