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US Heroin Deaths Have Increased 53 Percent Since 2002

In a scourge reminiscent of a plague, heroin deaths in the U.S. have increased 533 percent since 2002. According to Forbes, this is directly related to the opioid epidemic, which is killing more people than car crashes. This year alone, these drug overdose deaths are expected to surpass 71,000. The epidemic is also fueled by illicitly manufactured fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin.

Fentanyl use is truly terrifying — and terrifying is a word I don’t just throw around. Fentanyl now outpaces heroin as the deadliest drug on Long Island, New York, with fatalities from this drug surpassing heroin in other states, too. To address this rapidly growing trend, Sens. Edward Markey (D-Mass) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla) have introduced a bipartisan bill to "elevate illicit fentanyl trafficking as a foreign policy priority.”

The reasons behind how this epidemic started are as bad as the epidemic itself. According to recent research, half of all Americans are living with chronic illness, and many addiction specialists believe pain and hopelessness are driving the opioid. Not only that, we have manufacturers and doctors pushing these drugs on you, with little thought to the dangers of your becoming addicted to them. Did you know that 1 in 12 doctors are actually collecting bonuses for pushing opioids?

The surge in prescriptions can also be traced back to the widespread prevalence, and undertreatment, of chronic pain and, unfortunately, most doctors are ill-equipped to treat it.
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