(RepublicanNews.org) – According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a sad new record for drug overdose deaths has been set in 2022.
More than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, higher than the previous record set in 2021. The CDC’s provisional data came out on May 18th and estimates that almost 110,000 Americans died by drug overdoses in 2022, though that level is evening off.
While the rise in OD deaths may be partly attributable to the surge of fentanyl into the U.S. from drug smugglers among illegal immigrants, rates of alcoholism and drug abuse shot up sharply during the pandemic years. 2021 was the first year the number hit 100,000.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate that mimics the pain-killing ability of morphine, the drug harvested from opium poppies. But fentanyl is 100 times more potent by weight, making it alarmingly easy to overdose. The drug is so powerful that law enforcement officials need to handle it with special gear so as not to sicken or die from contact.
It is also highly addictive and has found its way into even “milder” drugs such as marijuana. There is no way for a user to detect its presence, suggesting that many overdose deaths are even more accidental than the “traditional” mistaken overdoses experienced by IV heroin users. Heroin is also an opiate derived from poppies.
The U.S. has placed sanctions against China in response to the surge in fentanyl in the U.S. China is the world’s largest producer of this drug. After it leaves China, most fentanyl is shipped to South America and then makes it over the U.S. border.
China has objected to the sanctions. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wan Wenbin said China is merely trying to help the U.S. “in the spirit of humanitarianism.”
But the U.S. Treasury Department claims the Communist nation is supplying “precursor” ingredients directly to drug cartels in Mexico to facilitate fentanyl production.
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