Yet another national disaster

Fentanyl is killing our young adults. Ohio in particular has seen some pretty dark days recently.

Between 2015 and 2016, overdose deaths rose by 33 percent in Ohio. These overdoses and addicts are ruining families. Not to mention this epidemic is straining the economy in Ohio with increased needs for EMS services, morgues and funeral homes and foster care.

Fetanyl, a synthetic opioid, is to blame for most of these overdoses because it is 100 times more powerful than morphine and it is relatively easy to get on the dark web with cyptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Some of these statistics might blow your mind:

-In 24 of 88 counties in Ohio in January and February 2017, 90% of overdoses involved fentanyl.

-According to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, 97.5 million Americans used, or misused, prescription pain pills in 2015.

-Opioid abuse kills more than 100 Americans a day.

So it’s not just Ohio.

This is a national economic disaster that needs the attention of the media and the federal government. If you take a conservative estimate of twenty to thirty thousand opioid-related deaths a year and multiply those numbers by five million dollars—a figure commonly used by insurance companies to value a human life—then the loss of life alone costs the economy an additional sum of between a hundred and a hundred and fifty billion dollars a year. 

A study published in the journal Pain Medicine in 2011 estimated that health-care costs related to prescription opioid abuse amounted to twenty-five billion dollars, and criminal-justice-system costs to $5.1 billion. But the largest cost was to the workplace, which accounted for $25.6 billion, in the form of lost earnings and employment.

This is a 200-billion-dollar economic disaster that very few people are talking about. We need the same level of urgency in this fentanyl and opioid epidemic as we have when a major hurricane strikes.

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