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posted by martyb on Wednesday May 02 2018, @01:16AM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-use-no-fake-opiods? dept.

Synthetics now killing more people than prescription opioids, report says

Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl have overtaken prescription opioids as the No. 1 killer in the opioid epidemic, according to a new report.

The report, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA [DOI: 10.1001/jama.2018.2844] [DX], calculated the number and percentage of synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States between 2010 and 2016 using death certificates from the National Vital Statistics System. The researchers found that about 46% of the 42,249 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016 involved synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, while 40% involved prescription drugs.

That's more than a three-fold increase in the presence of synthetic opioids from 2010, when synthetic drugs were involved in approximately 14% of opioid-overdose deaths.

Related: Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
Study Finds Stark Increase in Opioid-Related Admissions, Deaths in Nation's ICUs
U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis
Purdue Pharma to Cut Sales Force, Stop Marketing Opioids to Doctors
The More Opioids Doctors Prescribe, the More Money They Make
Two More Studies Link Access to Cannabis to Lower Use of Opioids

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by sjames on Wednesday May 02 2018, @04:31AM (2 children)

    by sjames (2882) on Wednesday May 02 2018, @04:31AM (#674450) Journal

    Sure, many people are the author of their own addiction, but I was replying to a post that offered no exceptions. I pointed out that there ARE exceptions.

    The problem is many fold. Part of it is that the restrictions are too tight. Doctors cut patients off cold turkey so the DEA doesn't breathe down their necks and then the addicted patient has little to no way to deal with it that doesn't involve admitting to a crime. The FDA dropped the ball in a few cases letting manufacturers get away with claiming that some of the riskier opioids were practically risk free.

    And part of it is just fluffing the figures. The hospice care patient that ODed 20 years ago would be said to have died of whatever terminal condition was causing all the pain in the first place. Now it's called an opioid death.

    As for your case in the ambulance, there are possible explanations. First, pain doesn't always set in right away. They might have anticipated that it was about to get really bad. Two, sometimes even when you aren't experiencing the pain consciously, there is an undesirable physiological reaction that opioids might stop. There may be others, but not knowing the exact circumstances it's hard to say. I know I once got quite a dose of demerol in spite of not being in much pain so the surgeon could get my muscles to relax enough to reattach a tendon.

    If the feds were serious about actually fixing the problem there would be a push to legalize at least medical marijuana since it is known to reduce the need for opioids.

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  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday May 02 2018, @06:54AM (1 child)

    by frojack (1554) on Wednesday May 02 2018, @06:54AM (#674480) Journal

    there would be a push to legalize at least medical marijuana since it is known to reduce the need for opioids.

    Ah, what planet have you been vacationing on where you haven't heard that the majority of states already have legal medical marijuana?

    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by sjames on Wednesday May 02 2018, @07:13AM

      by sjames (2882) on Wednesday May 02 2018, @07:13AM (#674482) Journal

      I said the *FEDS*. On what planet are the feds anything but entrenched against legalization?