Meth and cocaine deaths soaring to record levels

Stimulants contain fentanyl is driving overdose epidemic

Confirmed overdose deaths in Ohio reached 3,269 today, a 5.5% increase over the number reported at the same time last year. It seems likely that, in 2021, Ohio will exceed the horrific record of 5,017 overdose deaths set in 2020.

Remember, the numbers shown here lag what actually happened because it takes time for toxicology tests, death investigations, etc. to confirm a cause of death. These numbers show only deaths that are confirmed and entered into the Ohio Department of health mortality database.

 
The “opioid crisis” is now a crisis of fentanyl-adulterated stimulants. Our current approach dedicates nearly all resources to treating opioid addiction. That’s a mistake. It will not end the overdose epidemic because it  misdiagnoses the problem.
 
The next two charts document the real problem. The 2021 number is an estimate for the full-year at the current pace of overdose deaths, as reported through october 29, 2021. 

Source: Ohio Department of Health Mortality Data

Source: Ohio Department of Health Mortality Data

Ohio’s dangerous drug supply — not our state’s level of drug use, which is slightly below the U.S. average — is our deadly problem. Drug checking and a safe supply of drugs are the ONLY ways to significantly reduce overdose death during the drug war’s fentanyl era.

The only real way to significantly reduce overdose death is to end the drug war. An adulterated drug supply is the inevitable, unavoidable, unpreventable result of drug prohibition. 

Ending the drug war = ending the overdose epidemic. 

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