Read: The Fight Against Overdose Medicine Fentanyl and heroin addicts may also have become more careful about how they consume…
Fentanyl and heroin addicts may also have become more careful about how they consume drugs. “It is also credible that there are behavioral adjustments of people using heroin that lead to safer fentanyl use,” said Daniel Ciccarone, professor of family and social medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “These include sampling of the drugs before they are consumed, slowing down, getting information about strength from others.”
Still, this is a “fake dawn,” as Keith Humphreys, an addiction expert in Stanford, tells me. “Deaths for opioid overdose did not increase from 201
1 to 2012, and many explained that the tide was reversed, but in 2013 they started running back,” he said. Deaths from synthetic opioids like fentanyl still increase, as are those from methamphetamine. CDC
In other words, we will not know if this decline in death is “real” for a few years. But “although this is genuine, even if we finally crest, it’s hard to celebrate,” says Andrew Kolodny, a psychiatrist studying addiction at Brandeis University. lower figures still reflect about 70,000 people die of drug overdose each year. And it should not mention all the children born in the context of heroin, all fetal-childhood children and all people who still can not get treatment and use every day.
“There is much more to this problem than just the death,” Kolodny says.
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Olga Khazan is a staff writer at the Atlantic .