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.
The Trump Administration has convened a panel to address America's opioid epidemic. Its first mission should be to find convincing data to identify the actual cause(s) of the problem. That will be much harder than it sounds, since ideologues are always in plentiful supply.
There are many good reasons to avoid illegal drugs, like addiction and overdosing. The next best is that local street chemists aren't terribly trustworthy. It's common for drugs to be mixed with other chemicals, some of which are far more dangerous than the drug itself. Case in point: Fentanyl, which is often mixed into heroin.
The overdose epidemic sweeping the nation is hitting some demographics harder than others. Heroin overdose deaths began to skyrocket in 2010. New data shows that of all groups, older millennials, those aged 25-34, are the likeliest to die from a heroin overdose.
It should come as no surprise that Prince, who was rumored to be addicted to oxycodone, died from an overdose. But it was not oxycodone that killed him. It was fentanyl, perhaps the deadliest drug ever to hit the streets.
Twenty-five years before Walter White broke bad, an organic chemist at DuPont cooked up a scheme that has never been matched--the synthesis of a mega-potent version of heroin worth $112 million for only 8 ounces. Then, things REALLY broke bad.