America and overdose deaths: 107,000 dead in 2021

America and overdose deaths: 107,000 dead in 2021

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

President Joe Biden of America and opposition politicians need to work together to stem the tide of overdose deaths in this country. Resources and tackling vulnerable groups must be addressed – and urgently.

The political system in America is increasingly divisive and dysfunctional. This relates to extremes within the Democratic and Republican parties concerning their respective visions for society. However, the ever-changing nature of society – gender issues, religious versus overtly anti-religious, breakdown of the family, and so on – along with alienation in poorer communities irrespective of ethnicity – all equate to many different nations existing within the body politic of America.

Reuters said, “… the illegal drug supply out on the streets has become deadlier. That is mostly due to widespread availability of fentanyl, which can be 100 times more potent than morphine and is increasingly being mixed with other drugs, such as cocaine, without users knowing, as drug suppliers seek to boost their effects.”

Voice of America reports, “It has quickly become the deadliest drug in the nation, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Two-thirds of the 107,000 overdose deaths in 2021 were attributed to synthetic opioids like fentanyl, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.”

Various factors exist for the growing crisis in America, even if some are nothing new. This includes housing insecurity, the alienated working poor, mental health problems, experimenting with a mixture of drugs, the stresses of modern life, family breakdown, unemployment, and others.

Individuals taking cocaine, methamphetamine, and other drugs are also testing positive for fentanyl. Hence, easy availability, experimentation, price mechanism issues, and so on entail the growing menace of fentanyl

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports, “Rainbow fentanyl—fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes—is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults… The men and women of the DEA are relentlessly working to stop the trafficking of rainbow fentanyl and defeat the Mexican drug cartels that are responsible for the vast majority of the fentanyl that is being trafficked in the United States.”

Anne Milgram, the DEA Administrator, provided the above quote about the menace of fentanyl. Milgram also highlights the role of Mexican drug cartels. Hence, the border area and trafficking need addressing despite the mass difficulties in monitoring the border between America and Mexico.

The DEA says, “Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.  Just two milligrams of fentanyl, which is equal to 10-15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose.  Without laboratory testing, there is no way to know how much fentanyl is concentrated in a pill or powder.” 

Cross-party unity between both main parties is a must to stem the ongoing crisis that blights America. Other cross-party issues concern affordable housing, outreach work, the border, and other essential angles that must be above party politics.

America resembles a war zone every year – and this war zone is increasing in numbers.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News – Sawako Utsumi and Modern Tokyo Times artist Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News