December 28, 2017 – Last week, the U.S. government released the final figures for overdose deaths in 2016 and, yet again, the number increased from the previous year. This week, health officials are sharing their insights on why the uptick occurred.
While the public is becoming more aware and better educated on the nation’s drug epidemic, the disease of addiction is still having a devastating effect on Americans. Patrick Trainor, a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Philadelphia division, explained to The Guardian why synthetic opiates – like Fentanyl – are to blame for the sharp increase in overdose deaths:
On the streets of Kensington, a crisis is taking shape that an anti-drug advertising campaign proposed by Trump may do little to ease.
“Fentanyl has drastically changed the landscape,” Trainor said. “Sixty-four percent of fatals in Philadelphia County are fentanyl-related. There’s no dope out here now, it’s all fentanyl. Even the old timers are scared of it.”
In Kensington, many addicts congregate in a small park. It has become busier since authorities fenced off and filled in “the Tracks”, an aptly named encampment near train lines where residents once set up tables and mirrors to aid fixing in the neck. Others moved to an underpass on Emerald Street, known as Emerald City.
In either area, even addicts now carry Narcan. It’s an optimistic gesture, but barely.
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Read the full story from The Guardian.