Enough fentanyl to kill San Francisco: the new wave of the opioid crisis sweeping California – The Guardian

Opioids crisisDeaths from fentanyl overdoses have leapt by more than 2,100% in 5 years as the powerful drug has actually flooded the stateMon 14 Jun 2021 06.00 EDTWhen San Francisco police took seven kilos of powder-filled baggies including the lethal opioid fentanyl last week, the citys cops chief cautioned the bust consisted of “enough lethal overdoses to clean out San Franciscos population 4 times over”. Drug addiction experts say the haul might represent simply a tiny portion of the enormous volume of the effective artificial drug that is flooding California, after being primarily an east coast phenomenon for years.The proof is in the quickly rising death rates. The number of deaths from fentanyl overdoses leapt by more than 2100% in California in five years, state figures reveal. Overdoses of synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) killed nearly 4,000 residents in the state in 2015, according to the most recent quote from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.In San Francisco, drug users are passing away at a rate of almost two a day, numerous on the streets of the citys Tenderloin District. In San Diego, fentanyl is gushing through the homeless population, according to experts and recent media reports. Santa Clara county saw the number of fentanyl deaths more than double last year, KQED reported, with victims typically younger than in previous years.”Fentanyl has moved west,” stated Dr Daniel Ciccarone, a teacher focusing on dependency medication at the University of California, San Francisco. Ciccarone said the lab-made drug was barely seen in western states before 2017. Instead, he said, it utilized to be dispersed by drug trafficking networks providing the east coast, who often slipped it into heroin products without telling users.In a paper released this month, Ciccarone explains the explosion of unintentional overdose deaths taking place west of the Mississippi as part of a “fourth wave” of the opioid crisis.”Deaths due to fentanyl are rising quicker in the west now than they remain in the east,” Ciccarone said.In California, the drug is being sold under its own name, as powders or tablets. Its also being mixed with stimulants, like methamphetamines.Fentanyl is so powerful that an amount little adequate to fit under a fingernail can be fatal within minutes. Dr Aimee Moulin, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of California, Davis medical center in Sacramento, said she was seeing teenagers as young as 13 overdose on fake opioid tablets offered for house delivery over the internet.Fentanyl, money and unregistered ghost guns seized by the SFPD. Photograph: Courtesy of the San Francisco police department”The strength is so high that a decimal point difference in the concentration can be lethal,” she said.”This precedes the pandemic,” stated David Panush, the head of the consulting firm California Health Policy Strategies, which produced a report concluding fentanyl is “mainly responsible for the unmatched growth in overdose deaths” in California. “The pandemic probably made it worse, but you had these dependency patterns that were escalating and fentanyl is like pouring fuel on the fire.”Another paper, co-authored by the Stanford University researcher Chelsea Shover, stated the west coast may be 3 years behind on the exact same horrible trajectory of overdose deaths that overwhelmed the east coast a number of years earlier.”Given how fentanyl has so drastically got worse the US overdose death rate while just being pervasive in part of the nation, its nationwide spread could make the epidemic substantially worse,” said the report, released in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.Fentanyl is an attractive item for drug cartels because it can be cheaply manufactured in foreign private labs and alternatived to more pricey drugs like the white-powdered heroin typically offered on the east coast or pushed into counterfeit pills offered as OxyContin or Percocet, according to the 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment from the US Drug Enforcement Administration. The Sinaloa cartel and Jalisco New Generation cartel from Mexico have actually been taking control of production and distribution from previous sources, that included China, the report said.The San Francisco cops departments drug bust operation in Oakland on 3 June, which led to five arrests, the seizure of 7 kilos (16lb) of fentanyl, $45,000 in money and 2 unregistered “ghost weapons”, was only the most current in a recent string of major fentanyl seizures in northern California.”Fentanyl stays the primary chemical culprit in the record-shattering variety of fatal overdoses afflicting our city, the San Francisco police chief, Bill Scott, stated in a statement.Revealed: how Mexicos Sinaloa cartel has produced a worldwide network to rule the fentanyl trade”And the recovery of semi-automatic ghost weapons together with this haul of fatal drugs most likely meant for the Tenderloin is ominous.”Yet Ciccarone stated he has little faith that the busts are cutting the supply on the street by much.”When I hear of these busts, I have a sense of dread,” he stated. “I see it as a marker that the supply has actually increased.”He believes that more resources require to be taken into reducing the demand for drugs by dealing with addiction and dealing with the origin behind overdose threat, including incarceration, unstable real estate, financial stagnancy and class-based despair.”We just have actually not gotten to a proportional response to what amounts to an uncontrolled crisis,” he stated, keeping in mind that though the country has actually put resources into combating the opioid crisis, deaths are still going up nationally, driven in part by the rise in west coast overdoses. “There still arent enough drug treatment slots in America.”Dr Moulin, who is spearheading a program to make it possible for drug users to easily get treatment at any healthcare facility in California, concurred.”Opioid usage condition is highly treatable and we have highly reliable medications,” she said. “We just need to have an all-hands-on-deck method.” topLeft We will be in touch to remind you to contribute. 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Opioids crisisDeaths from fentanyl overdoses have actually jumped by more than 2,100% in 5 years as the powerful drug has flooded the stateMon 14 Jun 2021 06.00 EDTWhen San Francisco police took 7 kilos of powder-filled baggies containing the deadly opioid fentanyl last week, the citys cops chief cautioned the bust included “enough lethal overdoses to clean out San Franciscos population four times over”. Drug dependency experts state the haul might represent just a tiny fraction of the enormous volume of the effective artificial drug that is flooding California, after being mostly an east coast phenomenon for years.The proof is in the rapidly surging death rates.”Given how fentanyl has so drastically got worse the United States overdose death rate while just being prevalent in part of the country, its national spread could make the epidemic significantly even worse,” stated the report, released in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.Fentanyl is an appealing item for drug cartels since it can be inexpensively produced in foreign clandestine laboratories and replaced for more costly drugs like the white-powdered heroin typically offered on the east coast or pressed into fake pills offered as OxyContin or Percocet, according to the 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment from the US Drug Enforcement Administration. The Sinaloa cartel and Jalisco New Generation cartel from Mexico have actually been taking over production and circulation from prior sources, which included China, the report said.The San Francisco police departments drug bust operation in Oakland on 3 June, which resulted in 5 arrests, the seizure of 7 kilos (16lb) of fentanyl, $45,000 in money and 2 unregistered “ghost guns”, was just the latest in a current string of significant fentanyl seizures in northern California.”Fentanyl stays the primary chemical offender in the record-shattering number of fatal overdoses pestering our city, the San Francisco authorities chief, Bill Scott, stated in a statement.Revealed: how Mexicos Sinaloa cartel has actually created a worldwide network to rule the fentanyl trade”And the recovery of semi-automatic ghost guns along with this haul of deadly drugs most likely intended for the Tenderloin is ominous.

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