According to a recent global ranking, Utah has placed 4th concerning an increase of the drug overdose instances.
In recent times, the state of Utah has witnessed a significant spike in cases of drug overdoses, with most of the mentioned drugs coming from direct purchases from darknet markets.
The most recent report, however, portrayed a genuine reflection of the state of drug activities across the entire state of Utah. According to the report, in the year 2016, Utah recorded a vast (78 percent) rise in drug overdoses.
The primary drug in this report was fentanyl, with the research seeking to clarify on the overall number of deaths this drug has caused in the year.
Not only has fentanyl been a simple-to-ship drug across the dark web, but its sale has also become a booming business.
The information, which was presented and compiled by the Utah Department of Health, highlighted an initial figure of 41 deaths throughout the state.
As per previously released reports, most of the reported drug overdose instances were typical cases involving illegal fentanyl drugs.
While many of such deaths in Utah were traced back to pharmacy-sourced fentanyl, it is also important to note that since early 2016, a steady increase in fatalities mainly associated with illegal fentanyl has been witnessed.
This program initiated by the health department kick-started in 2000. Since then until the year 2015, they had recorded a total of 23 deaths associated with drug overdoses.
Nonetheless, 2016 seemed to indicate the highest number of death counts since the year 2000. This has inspired the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to shift its focus towards monitoring deaths resulting from fentanyl.
Fentanyl poses more danger than a typical gun would and can inflict more harm than is imaginable. It has culminated in many deaths—not just in the mentioned Utah but also across the globe.
Fentanyl mainly affects younger populations, and its availability in the dark web increasing. Individuals can simply tuck behind their computers and purchase it easily.
This has made it even harder for law enforcement agencies to crack down on online sales of the drug.
According to reports, the fentanyl ingredients emerge from China, and they are easily accessible in production labs which make it in many diverse shapes and forms. In fact, most of its users never really know whether the substance they are consuming is fentanyl.
This report further indicated a steady increase in the use of Naloxone since 2010.
Naloxone is a drug which is used to reverse the effects of fentanyl. Fortunately, in Utah—which allows the use of Naloxone—the increase in Naloxone use has worked well to minimize the overall number of deaths throughout the state.
However, one primary concern with Naloxone is that its quantity is scarce especially in household settings, although it can be found in hospitals to assist in reversing overdose effects.
The Rise in Fentanyl-Related Deaths in Utah
In a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released just last year, there was a 426 percent increase in the overall number of drugs which tested positive with fentanyl between 2013 and 2014.
What’s more, within this particular period, the total number of fentanyl-related deaths shot up by 79 percent.
While fentanyl may appear to be just a conventional drug, the fact that it is 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin and morphine, respectively, demonstrates the danger it can cause.
Aside from that, fentanyl takes its toll on the body soon after injection as opposed to heroin, which begins its effects between 10 and 20 minutes after consumption.
While the continued use of illegal drugs such as heroin is also hitting high numbers in the United States, none of these substances takes more lives that fentanyl, as the statistics now indicate.
In efforts to curb the overall number of deaths, local authorities have taken various initiatives such as creating awareness and increasing the sentences to life imprisonment for fentanyl vendors.
A University of Utah pediatrician, Jennifer Plumb, in the past has called for the public to treat these overdose issues as a significant health crisis.
She has insisted on the public handling this situation with vigilance.
Plumb has also asked people to take action to prevent individuals from growing dependent on such drugs by controlling their prescriptions.
She called for active collaboration with state agencies to ensure the eradication of fentanyl from the streets, and she reiterated the need to boost treatment for the individuals who are already affected.
CDC statistics reveal that 91 deaths occur each day due to an opioid overdose.
While the numerous calls to get synthetic opioids off the streets appear to be a productive idea, eradicating it from the dark web stands to be a more difficult undertaking.
Fentanyl-related transactions in the darknet markets attract huge returns, a factor that has led to the increase in the overall number of online vendors in this arena.
Nonetheless, despite the complexity associated with eradicating this drug to curb the continually rising overdose-related death tolls, with proper strategies, the job is not impossible.
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