Fentanyl

The enormous Rand Corporation just issued a 265-page report discussing how and why fentanyl is plaguing the United States. Interesting stuff, but "itsy bitsy" ACSH was all over this years ago. See for yourself.
Fentanyl washed upon our shores several decades ago, as China White. Today, the fentanyl market has more of a Breaking Bad vibe. A thorough study by the Rand Corporation suggests that fentanyl is a whole quantum different from the opioid crisis narrative.
One of the core principles of ACSH is harm reduction – an essential component of any sane public health policy. Dr. Jeffrey Singer (pictured) writing for the Cato Institute, calls for harm reduction, both from opioid prescribers and policymakers. Dr. Singer graciously allowed us to reprint his latest essay, which is a must-read.
The CDC just released "Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts," which seems to imply that opioid overdose deaths are falling for the first time. Some will doubtlessly take credit for ending the opioid crisis. But they shouldn't.
Have you started your Christmas and/or holiday shopping? If you're like us, you're putting it off to the last minute – because you're too busy with other things. Here at ACSH, we've been busy telling the world about science. Here's where we've appeared recently.
It's been more than obvious that, despite what you hear in the news, it is fentanyl – not Vicodin – that's killing tens of thousands each year. But a new article in National Vital Statistics Reports makes this more than obvious. Just as obvious is the horrible damage caused by deeply-flawed policies in the past five years. Here is the smoking gun.
Chinese President Xi and President Trump are trying to hammer out an agreement to stop fentanyl from flooding into the United States. Whatever they come up with may help, but only so much. In this case, organic chemists have more power than presidents. Here's why.
In a trend described as shocking, people desperate to obtain narcotics are intentionally injuring their pets to divert and abuse the veterinarian’s painkiller prescriptions. While terribly sad this is no surprise: After all, this is addiction.
A new study says that the overdose-reversing drug increases opioid use, and doesn't reduce opioid-related mortality, overall, because it provides users with a “safety net” and thus encourages riskier drug use. But a public health researcher argues that it's a vital tool in fighting the overdose epidemic and too often it's hard to get when it's needed the most.
The strategy that our government is employing is ridiculous; we are fighting the wrong enemy. Pain medications, like Percocet and Vicodin, on their own, kill few relatively few people while illicit fentanyl and its monster analogs like carfentanil are responsible for the carnage we see daily on the news.
There is a fair amount of confusion about the terms "pharmaceutical fentanyl," "illicit fentanyl," and "fentanyl analogs." Read this and the confusion should go away. It is important to avoid inaccuracies here. Words can make a big difference. 
First fallacy: the mere existence of an opioid pill is why there is a crisis. Finding solutions requires proper identification of a problem. The time is now for the public narrative to follow suit.