(RepublicanView.org) – Earlier this year, preliminary data suggested that almost 110,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2022.
According to a recent Fox News report, medical professionals and police are concerned about the rising number of different sorts of methamphetamine-related deaths in the United States.
Combining the stimulant methamphetamine with the depressant heroin or fentanyl is becoming more dangerous, according to Paul Borghesani, a physician at the University of Washington, who tracks drug trends in the United States.
Deaths caused by this combination have increased dramatically, according to the most current statistics from the American Public Health Association.
The number of overdoses caused by a combination of stimulants and fentanyl has increased 50-fold since 2010. In 2021, these overdoses constituted 32% of all overdoses in the United States and were responsible for about 35,000 fatalities, as reported in research published in the Scientific Journal Addiction back in September.
A “fourth” wave of polysubstance overdoses has emerged, according to the study’s authors, in the context of the opioid epidemic. In the first, prescription opioids began to skyrocket in the early 2000s; in the second, heroin began to surge about 2010; and in the third, fentanyl began to skyrocket around 2013.
The fourth wave is when drug users who use opioids regularly typically seek out stimulants to counteract the fatigue that comes with heroin and fentanyl usage. Speedballing is the name given to the strategy, and it has the potential to produce an extremely strong and perhaps lethal high.
“Stimulants cause vasoconstriction of your vessels and increase your need for oxygen,” said Eric Weintraub, head of addiction research and therapy at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, according to NPR. Meanwhile, opioids have a conflicting affect — cutting down on respiration in the body.
People are more likely to overdose when they are under that kind of physical stress.
Methamphetamine is the more common combination with fentanyl in the southwest and west, but cocaine is the more common combination in the northeast.
The overdose antidote Narcan should be widely accessible in areas where people use drugs because, according to researchers, people aren’t going to quit using illegal substances anytime soon.
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