From the New York Times news section:
New data shows a surge in overdose deaths involving fentanyl and methamphetamine. Overall, the nation saw a 15 percent increase in deaths from overdoses in 2021.
By Noah Weiland and Margot Sanger-Katz
May 11, 2022
WASHINGTON — After a catastrophic increase in 2020, deaths from drug overdoses rose again to record-breaking levels in 2021, nearing 108,000, the result of an ever-worsening fentanyl crisis, according to preliminary new data published on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The increase of nearly 15 percent followed a much steeper rise of almost 30 percent in 2020, an unrelenting crisis that has consumed federal and state drug policy officials. Since the 1970s, the number of drug overdose deaths has increased every year except 2018.
A growing share of deaths continue to come from overdoses involving fentanyl, a class of potent synthetic opioids that are often mixed with other drugs, and methamphetamine, a synthetic stimulant. State health officials battling an influx of both drugs said many of the deaths appeared to be the result of combining the two.
Drug overdoses, which long ago surged above the country’s peak deaths from AIDS, car crashes and guns, killed about a quarter as many Americans last year as Covid-19.
Deaths involving synthetic opioids — largely fentanyl — rose to 71,000 from 58,000, while those associated with stimulants like methamphetamine, which has grown cheaper and more lethal in recent years, increased to 33,000 from 25,000. Because fentanyl is a white powder, it can be easily combined with other drugs, including opioids like heroin, and stimulants like meth and cocaine, and can be stamped into counterfeit pills for anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax. Such mixtures can prove lethal if drug users are unaware they are taking fentanyl or are unsure of the dose.
Wasn’t there a famous death in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 that could have been used as the perfect illustration of the dangers of taking any recreational drug, such as meth, in an era when drug dealers so often mix in fentanyl, either intentionally to boost the pleasure from the drug or just due to using the same Magic Bullet blender for mixing both?
How many lives would have been saved over the last two years if the press had trumpeted the fact that George Floyd had both meth and fentanyl in his system when he died, and Mr. Floyd’s death should come as a warning to us all to stay away from all illegal drugs in the Age of Fentanyl?
But, instead, suggesting that drugs contributed to Floyd’s death was a Conspiracy Theory and Disinformation.