LOS ANGELES - The United States is in an opioid crisis and deaths from opioid overdoses have continued to rise across the country.
According to the Surgeon General’s latest report states that the number of people dying from opioid overdose has quadrupled between 1999 and 2014. And according to the report, “In 2014, there were 17,465 overdoses from illicit drugs and 25,760 overdoses from prescription drugs.”
As if the overdoses of heroin, oxycodone, and other opiates weren’t enough -- new, and more potent synthetic opioids are making matters worse.
Fentanyl, which is up to 100 times more potent than morphine is the most common of the synthetics being used in the illegal drug diversion of prescription opioids. It recently gained notoriety in the death of music icon Prince -- who died of fentanyl toxicity and had pills marked as hydrocodone that contained fentanyl in his home.
Synthetic drugs are cheap and easy to get, and there is no way of knowing if something as deadly as fentanyl is present in an illegal prescription.
In Cincinnati, a synthetic opioid known as carfentanil was blamed for 78 overdoses over just a two day period this summer.
And most recently Virginia State Health Commissioner Marissa Levine declared the state’s opioid crisis a Public Health Emergency. By the end of 2016, the number of deaths from opioid overdose is expected to increase by 77 percent from five years ago.
Watch the video to learn about the latest synthetic opioid killing Americans across the country.