The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recentlyan opioid epidemic in the U.S. They said there were 90 deaths a day across the country from opioid .
is the drug which is the of ODs; it's 50 to 100 times more than heroin. But unlike heroin, which is illegal, opioids like fentanyl by doctors as .
The problem is that many doctorsopioids, and there is the that patients will get addicted to them or suffer if they stop.
Opioids are so common that people almost see them as normal. One way is through TV ads. Although there are no TV ads for opioids, there are ads for drugs that help with one of its side effects: opioid. The ads are and make you feel that opioids are just another kind of painkiller.
But they're dangerous. People can buy opioids. Overdoses on the street are such a big problem that police near where we lived in Washington state carry a special drug that can fight overdoses, and have used it to save several people.
And it's not just Washington state. Theof Florida, at the opposite corner of the country, recently declared an opioid epidemic there.
Canada now has the same problem: It uses more opioidsthan any other country except the United States. One Canadian newspaper says you can order fentanyl online, as you might do a book or a piece of clothing. For $35 (¥3,900), you can buy a "sample" and for around $21,000 (¥2.3 million) a kilo. Or you can buy it on the street in the U.S. and drive it over the border. Canadian border guards don't check small packages.
It gets worse. It's illegal to sell fentanyl on the streets, but new fentanyldrugs are created all the time. Each new drug is similar to fentanyl but not exactly the same, so may be legal for a short time until it .
The U.S. says suppliers in China are the main source of illegal opioids. They sell them online, oftenthem as or packing them along with electronic goods.
What can officials do? One idea is to make "" spaces in local . Opioid users could use them to lower their stress or get counseling. Also, doctors shouldn't overprescribe, and they should give patients strict instructions on opioid usage.
Theseshould help with the crisis, even if it's just a start.
The Japan Times ST: June 9, 2017