There is a scary new normal in some parts of the country. People are hearing about the deaths of their class peers due to opioid overdoses. From the northernmost part of the United States to the southernmost tip of the great nation of America, overdosing is a big problem. Many public health researchers have called it a crisis of unimaginable proportions, moving beyond the stage of epidemic and permeating deep within the modern American society.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids among a range of others including prescription drugs have killed more than 33000 people in 2015 alone. Yes, all those people in a single year.
Oh, and this is not from illegal drugs. This is all stuff that you can get from Walgreens. While marijuana remains a schedule one drug, kids are dying from a schedule two.And this figure is not showing any signs of receding or slowing down. Drug overdosing has and continues to kill more Americans than the HIV epidemic that struck the USA decades ago.
Many researchers are now drawing parallels between the HIV epidemic which took away the lives of thousands of people in the 80s and 90s to the recent overdose deaths. The overdosing problem is said to be this generation’s “AIDS problem” due to its high fatality rates.
A plethora of drugs entering the United States illegally have further exacerbated the overdosing problem, especially the synthetic opioid Fentanyl. It is said that Fentanyl is at least 50 times more potent than heroin. An incorrect combination of fentanyl makes it deadlier. Fentanyl has also contaminated the cocaine supplies in many cities, including New York, as reported by the New York City Department of Public Health.If you hate Fentanyl now, be prepared to hate it even more because this legal drug is what took Prince away from us.
Even Canada is grappling through its own opioid mess, but the Canadian government is taking an extraordinary step to face the problem head on. Quebec’s minister of public health recently announced the opening of two centers where nurses would be supervising over people who will be able to inject themselves with illegal drugs. This idea has far reaching consequences and would go on to put a check on the rising rates of deaths due to overdosing.
The United States should implement something similar to help people with addictions instead of arresting them as it would help these people to get on with their lives instead of losing hope and further drowning themselves in the pool of overdoses.The National Institute on Drug Abuse has found out that the maximum number of people getting addicted to opioids start with prescription medicines for chronic pain. Hence, considering these facts, the case for medical marijuana is becoming stronger, with many researches confirming the fact that medical marijuana is indeed, effective for pain.If the current administration wants to fix the opioid problem, move marijuana to a schedule two. There is no other way around this problem.