Utah has recently been ranked the 4th highest state with drug overdose cases. The state has for the past few years recorded an unprecedented rise of drug overdose cases in which most of the drugs involved were directly purchased through the Darknet marketplace.
The latest report released portrayed a true reflection of the nature of drug activities going on in the state. It has been reported that Utah recorded a massive rise of 78% of drug overdoses in 2016. The main drug focused was fentanyl, and the research was based on the number of fentanyl deaths recorded in the year.
Fentanyl has been an “easy to ship” drug on the Darknet, and its trade is a big-time business.
The information according to the Utah Health Status Update, compiled by the Department of health contained a preliminary count of 41 deaths in the state. It was reported that the majority of the drug overdose deaths recorded was illicit fentanyl drugs. Most of the fentanyl-related deaths in Utah involved pharmaceutically sourced fentanyl; however, from the beginning of 2016, there has been an increase in deaths related to illicit fentanyl,” the report stated.
The Department of Health started tracing drug overdose death in 2000, and they recorded 23 deaths in 2015. The death counts recorded in 2016 were said to be the highest since 2000. This has made the FDA increase its focus on fentanyl in postal facilities.
Fentanyl is more dangerous than a gun and more harmful than anything one can imagine. It has resulted in many deaths not only in Utah but across the United States of America. The major source of it is the Darknet where the Utah teens hide behind their computers to trade. It is reported that the ingredients for fentanyl are from China. Also, there are easily accessible labs on the internet that produce the fentanyl in diverse forms and shapes. Most of the users do not normally get to know whether or not what they really consume is fentanyl.
The report confirmed that the use of Naloxone, a drug used to reverse the effect of Fentanyl has increased steadily since 2010. The drug overdose death rate recorded would have been worse had it not been the acceptance of Naloxone in the state. The only concern is that Naloxone is very scarce in most of the households, though paramedics have them in fair quantities to reverse an overdose.
The Rise of Fentanyl Deaths in Utah
A report released last year stated that the number of drugs that tested positive for fentanyl in Utah rose massively to 426%. This rise was between the years of 2013 and 2014. That same period recorded 79% of deaths related to fentanyl.
What makes fentanyl more dangerous is that it is 50 times stronger than morphine and 30 times stronger than heroin. Besides that, fentanyl takes effect from the onset of ingestion, unlike heroin which takes effect from 10 to 20 minutes after consumption. It is undeniable that heroin consumption is also high in the United States of America, but none of the illegal consumed drugs kill more than fentanyl according to statistics.
Authorities have tried all possible means to control the overdose death, ranging from providing education on the effect of fentanyl to the life imprisonment sentencing of some fentanyl drug vendors.
Jennifer Plumb, M.D., a pediatrician with the University of Utah Healthcare called the public to treat the overdose cases as a public health crisis. “We need to treat this as a public health crisis. We need to act now to stop people from becoming dependent upon and addicted to opioids with better oversight of how they prescribe them.”
She further called on collaboration with the law to get the fentanyl off the streets. ”We also need to work with law enforcement to get these frightening synthetic substances off the streets. And we need to increase access to treatment for those already addicted. It is critical that we act now.”
The CDC reported that fentanyl kills 91 Americans every day. The call to eradicate synthetic opioid from the streets seems to be a good idea, but getting it off the Darknet will be better, however, it sounds impossible. Opioid vendors on the Darknet make a lot of returns from the fentanyl sale, and this attracts more fentanyl vendors into the online black market.
Regardless of how complicated it seemed to totally eradicate drug overdose death in Utah and America as a whole, it is achievable with a better strategy in place.