The 4th Wave of the Opioid Crisis is Not Receding
Article from The Guardian by Erin McCormick
The escalating crisis of fentanyl and methamphetamine use, while startlingly apparent in San Francisco, has wider implications across the United States and potentially, globally. The shift in the drug market towards synthetic substances due to their profitability and potency indicates an impending challenge for healthcare providers nationwide. The lack of FDA-approved treatments for meth dependence further exacerbates the situation.
Moreover, the increasing trend of mixed-drug use, particularly fentanyl and meth, adds complexity to the issue, making it harder for conventional approaches to be effective. The combination of these drugs could potentially magnify mental health issues and increase the risk of overdoses.
The situation also calls into question the efficacy of current drug policies and enforcement strategies, as seen in San Francisco's struggles. The rise in synthetic drug use could necessitate a reevaluation of these strategies at a national level, including a potential shift towards harm reduction approaches and addiction treatment expansion.
Lastly, this trend could also impact socio-economic factors such as workforce productivity, healthcare costs, and law enforcement resources, thereby underscoring the need for comprehensive and multi-faceted solutions.
San Francisco faces deadliest year for drug overdoses due to rise of fentanyl
By Erin McCormick on The Guardian
"San Francisco is facing its deadliest year ever for drug overdoses, a trend blamed on the surge of powerful synthetic fentanyl in the US’s illicit drug supply.
In the first nine months of 2023, the northern California city saw 692 people die of overdoses, more than in the entire year of 2022, according to new data reported by the city’s medical examiner. The city is on track to see more than 800 deaths this year, topping its highest year ever, 2020, when it saw 720."
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