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Killer Drug

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Viswamitra, Feb 19, 2024.

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    In 2022, 73,654 people died from a fentanyl overdose in the US, more than 200 deaths every day. Over a quarter of a million Americans died from fentanyl overdose since 2018. What is fentanyl and why is it so dangerous? Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Like other opioids, fentanyl use can lead to dependency and addiction. Most illicit fentanyl is made in labs outside the county and smuggled across the US-Mexico border.

    Early in the opioid epidemic, overdose deaths were largely driven by a flood of prescriptions for drugs such as Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone, and Morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was approved by the FDA as a pain reliever in 1998 and was typically prescribed to patients with severe or chronic pain. As prescription for these drugs fell after stringent procedures were enforced for the physicians to prescribe these drugs, heroin, and eventually illegally made fentanyl, became the main cause of opioid overdose deaths.

    Drug dealers across the border may mix fentanyl with other drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA (a synthetic drug that acts as a stimulant and hallucinogen) to increase the drug’s effects – sometimes without the user’s knowledge. Because fentanyl is significantly stronger than other opioids, doses as small as 2 mg can be lethal. And with users unaware of how much fentanyl they are using, it’s an especially dangerous combination. The DEA found that 6 out of 10 fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl.

    Monthly overdose deaths among young people aged 10 to 19 increased by 109% from 2019 to 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 90% of those deaths involved opioids, the CDC said, and 84% involved illicitly manufactured fentanyl.

    Why is the US facing this kind of crisis? The problem can be classified into 3 categories:

    1) Mental illness due to stress and other factors

    2) Free flow of fentanyl from Mexico from the drug cartels

    3) Free flow of arms from the US to the drug cartels

    Mental Illness: Stress begins from a young age in the US that includes homelessness, abandoned children moving from one foster home to another, crisis with reference to gender identity, peer pressure in the school, a major accident that involves pain management on a regular basis, and many other factors. As they grow into adults, bitter marital battles and divorce also create additional pressure on young adults. Not having a stable family is a major factor in people resorting to escapism by consumption of fentanyl.

    Drug Cartels: Mexico has major drug cartels and fentanyl manufactured in South and Central America flows freely into Mexico besides their own manufacturing labs. Drug Cartels are the 5th largest employer in Mexico. They have spectacular infrastructure, human resources, capabilities to transport fentanyl across the US border illegally. They have even built underground tunnels to transport fentanyl from a warehouse in Mexico to another warehouse located in the border states of the US. They run a parallel government with a big budget, military-like security protocol, loyal and disciplined employees.

    Arms: The second amendment right gives every citizen in the US to buy arms of various categories including combat type of rifles. This is made easy to buy across the US in most states without much background screening. This enables the cartels to buy rifles, guns, etc. at a competitive price in the US. Their network is so strong, and it is easy for them to smuggle them across the border into Mexico. This gives them the ability to defend themselves against Mexican government. Unless the US government makes a concerted effort to send their military to the border collaborating with the Mexican government, it is difficult to defeat these cartels and stop the free flow of fentanyl. This is a crisis not only in the border states but also throughout the US. This requires immediate attention of the federal government.
     
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  2. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Drug abuse is becoming a big issue. A friend from Canada also said that youngsters are getting addicted to drugs that are available in various forms and names. At the same time, there is rules for hemp cultivation in some US states are getting soft. I was in Paris a few years back and it was common knowledge that many people take drugs there to beat depression. Unfortunately, getting depressed is becoming fashionable.
    In India, young boys are getting addicted to drugs in cities like Kota, the education center for competitive exams. Many suicides have been reported.
    No body seems to be having an answer in today's competitive world.
     
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  3. gamma50g

    gamma50g Gold IL'ite

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    Drugs are indeed a huge issue today especially among youngsters. Kids as young as 10 are getting addicted to drugs that are cheaply and freely available :(

    Today's generation wants everything instantly. As a result, many a times they are unable to cope with reality. Add peer pressure, family pressure and academic pressure to that and it becomes a recipe for disaster. I know many kids as young as 6th grade vape in our public school district. Many are experimenting with $@×.

    Parents - even the best of them are completely oblivious to the happenings at school. I remember a post by one of my neighbors whose high school studying daughter died due to Fentanyl overdose. The parents were hands-on, had a great bond with their daughter but were completely unaware of her addiction till it was too late.

    It alarms and dismays me to see what kind of future citizens we will have given the current state of things.

    Really, Ghor Kaliyug it is indeed!
     
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  4. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    Drugs masquerade as medicines to treat chronic symptoms . Later it becomes addiction. To get the same level of pleasure larger quantities consumed producing fatal results among young and old . Drug menace prevalent almost all over the world . The network of drugs is huge right from its cultivation/growing and processing in clandestine manner in near oasis and then expanding logistics and easy money for peddlers. More money is made by enforcers hand in glove with drug mafia all around the hold.
    I happen to read in one of top selling Ken Follet books Pillars of the Earth or Fall of giants about drug production the mafia and how they rule wigh their buz all over the world.
    This story reminds me of Thaliomide babies that is not related to drugs or its consumption but how pregnant women realised in UK only later after many years of their delivery of babies that were born with organ defects.
    I heard Detectives are employed to nab the drug peddlers around educational institutions .
     
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  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Hemp cultivation and Cannabis for human consumption was existing until 100 years ago. When Eastern countries such as China and India were dominating this cultivation, the West found a way to classify Cannabis as scheduled drug making stringent rules. This facilitated many pharmaceutical companies to introduce chemical mix for curing multiple diseases and patent those inventions. Cannabis research was restricted to only a handful of labs to find out the medicinal effects. Since 1930, many government committees couldn't find the negative effects of Cannabis but the political spectrum continue to keep it as scheduled drug. Nixon told the government to be more aggressive in cracking down the cannabis users and since then millions of Americans spent jail time for possessing Marijuna even in smaller quantities for recreation purposes.

    This resulted in more and more students finding other ways such as LSD, Heroine, Fentanyl and other synthetic drugs that made them get high. Understanding the scientific research, many states adopted a soft method of legalizing the use of Marijuana to reduce use of other drugs which are dangerous for health. Researchers found out that there were no Marijuna overdose cases as Marijuna is the safest among all of the banned drugs. Even Federal government is considering removing Marijuna from the current classification making it acceptable drug. There is a lot of resistance to this from pharmaceutical lobbies as once Marijuna becomes legal, many drug manufacturers will lose their business. Marijuna can cure many health issues and its medical benefits exceed far beyond the risks associated with its THC content.
     
  6. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    You are right about the parents not being aware of what is happening in schools. The children get quick access to all kinds of drugs that are harmful to them and even affect their mental development. Hopefully, the government will find a solution soon to stop Fentanyl smuggled into the United States. Mexican Cartels are thriving on this business with the help of guns that are easily available from the United States. Mexican government is unable to control these Cartels as they run a parallel economy and a government.

    It is high time a proper actionable plan is created and executed to control the drugs moving into the United States illegally.
     
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  7. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    The drug peddlers are thriving around educational institutions as most students have a lot of stress and pressure seeking solution. It is unfortunate but real. Now many generations (at lease 3) generations in the western civilization and at least 2 generations in Eastern countries are used to drugs. It has to be an international effort to come to an understanding how to eliminate sale of illegal drugs. One way to eliminate them is to legalize something that is not harmful and medicinal in its properties and there is no danger of overdose. In case of Cannabis, there is a substantial difference in the quality that is available in the black market vs legitimately cultivated in states like Oregon, Colorado and California. I feel the US government is close to legalizing Marijuna which may help eliminating control substances being liberally sold in the US.
     
  8. Thoughtful

    Thoughtful Gold IL'ite

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    Democrats are as sneaky if not more than the republicans to take advantage of any situation and spin it their way.

    If Joe Biden and the people in office want to stop fentanyl, they will stop fentanyl. But if they want to use it to do politics to push the agenda of oh its a gun control problem and the republicans have to be blamed for it, then, that's that.

    Biden probably wants money to fix this, give him another 100 billion and he will give 99 of it to Ukraine and Israel ( and any place they can sell weapons and earn money for themselves), and 1 billion for the fentanyl crisis and that is the only way he might act on it. If not, its on you republicans for not allowing the fentanyl crisis to be halted.
     
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  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    The last bill had enough money to fix the immigration and Fantanyl issue but our beloved former President wanted this issue to stay for the election cycle and the Republican house members decided to stall it. I dare the Republican representatives to make a separate bill now to stop illegal immigration and Fentanyl issue right away. I am sure they will lose their boss' (Donald Trump's) support. He is the most selfish political leader I had ever come across.

    Having said that I agree that Biden administration should have addressed the Fentanyl issue right away after taking office. But even Trump did nothing to stop it either other than separating the children from the parents.
     
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  10. umaakumar

    umaakumar Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Sir,
    I wanted to reply earlier to your write-up on drugs.
    One can put an end to the peddlers. But no matter how much vigilance is there, they still sell. We have to educate children against the use of drugs.
    Initially it was Ganja, then brown sugar, cocaine, heroine etc etc. The latest is fentanyl. I am not aware of this.
    Say some 30 years back, brown sugar addiction was at its height in India. The peddlers were mostly students from abroad, who wanted the extra cash. They would not do drugs, but sell. They would start by befriending the non addicts and giving them the drug free for a couple of days. Then they start selling. Addiction starts unaware.
    I had a few friends who got into this. That is how I know of their modus operandi. Some of those friends are no more.
    Makes my heart sad, to think of the damage it does to the mind and body.
    Sad state of affairs. But apart from a few ads here and there, the government does nothing.
     

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