Fentanyl

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.
There's crazy, and then there is crazy. This is both. Researchers in China are exploring herbs and acupuncture to treat pain and perhaps mitigate the carnage of the opioid fentanyl crisis. Where does the fentanyl come from? China. Go figure. 
As if the government and media haven't screwed up the story of the so-called "opioid crisis" thoroughly enough, why not add some meaningless and confusing terms to the mix? That way, absolutely no one can know what the hell is going on. Let's take a look at the confusion. There's plenty of it.
Two organic chemists in China are in all sorts of trouble after being charged with running factories that make fentanyl, the drug this is killing Americans in droves, and its stronger chemical cousins. The chemists based their choice of drugs to make upon the legality of the drug in the US. Most of them are now legal. Here's why.
Whether one supports or opposes the death penalty, the debate should be based upon ethics and morality informed by evidence-based biomedical science. Not distortions and half-truths.