The first wave began with increased prescribing of opioids in the 1990s, with overdose deaths involving prescription opioids (natural and semi-synthetic opioids and methadone) increasing since at least 19993. The second wave began in 2010, with rapid increases in overdose deaths involving heroin. The third wave began in 2013, with significant increases in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, particularly those involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl5,6,7. The market for illicitly manufactured fentanyl continues to change, and it can be found in combination with heroin, counterfeit pills, and cocaine.
I have lost so many close friends since the second wave of the opioid crisis began in 2010. Opioids do not discriminate, they attack all different ages, sexes, and age groups. The worst part about opioids is the withdrawal symptoms are not just a mind thing, those addicted get physically sick, which makes them feel worst than having the flu and it takes a long time to feel better. Most people who take opioids still have to work or maintain their life and can’t be down for three to six months until they feel better. Thankfully, Suboxone was created to help people addicted to opioids deal with the withdrawal symptoms, but it is expensive, a lot of addicts don’t have health insurance, and some can’t take the medication because they are allergic to it. There is also a monthly shot called Vivitrol that blocks opioids and helps with withdrawals.
Now, to make matters even worst drug dealers are pressing pills that are pumped full of Fentanyl because it is much cheaper than opioids, but Fentanyl is very strong and it is killing more people than opioids.
Health officials in Montana said that there were at least eight overdose deaths between May 22-June 1st.
First responders discovered blue M30 pills in the vicinity of the victim, likely fakes laced with Fentanyl, a dangerous opioid 50-100 times stronger than morphine.
“Counterfeit pills that contain fentanyl are increasing in number nationally and are being taken by people who misuse prescription opioids as much as those who inject, smoke, or snort drug substances,” said the Montana Department of Health in a Tuesday statement.
Health officials stated that six of the victims were males and two were women. They all had a history of substance abuse and were known to have died from overdoses.
Fentanyl is responsible for a significant increase in overdose deaths across the country. It was responsible, according to the CDC, for around three-quarters of the record 107.622 fatal overdoses.
Montana had 87 deaths from fentanyl-related causes in 2017, a 112% increase from the 41 deaths it experienced in 2020.
According to the Montana Department of Justice and health officials, law enforcement has tried to keep up with the growing state threat by seizing more fentanyl during the first three months of the year than in the previous four years.
“The Department of Justice works to get fentanyl from the streets and continuing to monitor the crisis closely,” Montana Attorney-General Austin Knudsen stated Tuesday.
“Please do not take any pills not prescribed for you. Talk to your children about the extreme risks associated with opioids, and drug abuse and discuss any addictions with your doctor, because there are all types of treatment for opioids and other addictions that could save your life or one of your family members’ lives.