(COVINGTON, La.) — Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz announced that a whopping 10 overdose deaths were reported in 26 hours in the Ohio county in late September.
Ortiz stated that this was an “abnormally high number,” for one county in the short period of time. It was reported that most of these deaths were caused by a mixture of fentanyl with cocaine and methamphetamine. Ortiz commented that these were “deadly combinations for anyone.” Fentanyl is said to be 50 times more potent than heroin and can be bought or sold online through the dark web.
The opioid epidemic is a massive problem- not just in the Ohio, but in United States as a whole. Drug related deaths have skyrocketed in the United States in the last 20 years. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, hundreds of thousands of Americans have died from overdoses from 1999 to 2019, and the number keeps increasing. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 430,000 deaths have been cause by both prescription and illegal opioids since 2000 in the United States.
It is imperative to never take more medication than your doctor suggests. Even prescription medication can be extremely harmful if too much is taken. Don’t take drugs off the street either. Do not even take medicine prescribed to a friend or family member. Fentanyl is often used to increase the potency of drugs, and you can never be sure that what you’re taking is fentanyl-free. Drugs are becoming more dangerous than automobile accidents, and the United States must do a better job at regulating the distribution of drugs and deciding who can handle certain types and quantities of opioids.
There is no clear solution to this epidemic, but that does not mean that there is no way to make it better. If you know anyone that takes opioids to the point where he or she begins to act differently, get help for them.
Call the SAMSHA drug abuse hotline 1-800-662-HELP (4357) if you or someone you know struggles with drug abuse- it could save a life.