The lack of information out there on fentanyl alone is shocking.

12 Jan 2018

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released the latest annual statistics on America’s overdose crisis, and once again, they were staggering. In 2016, 42,249 people died from opioid-containing overdoses, a 28 percent increase from a year earlier. Illegally-manufactured fentanyl and its derivatives—a.k.a. fentanyls—were the the number one cause of opioid-related deaths, accounting for almost half of these fatalities. That suggests today’s epidemic is dominated by street drug poisoning, not the diversion of pain medication, as some in the Trump administration (and many holdout drug warriors) might have you believe.

But while I’ve written ad nauseam about measures we already know need to be implemented to save lives, researchers are increasingly concerned about the many unknowns looming over the overdose nightmare. In fact, a recent meeting held by the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of Academic Engagement in Washington, DC focused on the gaps in the literature, and what scientists would study were they not faced with financial or other limits (disclosure: I was a participant).

The lack of information out there on fentanyls alone was shocking. 

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