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This Week's Topic

The Current Drug Overdose Epidemic

Deaths resulting from opiate overdoses have risen steadily each and every year from 2002 to 2017. Opiate overdose deaths have tripled in that period of time. Overdose deaths from heroin have risen to unheard of historic levels in 2017. In fact, all categories of opiate drugs, heroin, fentynal, synthetic opiates like, oxycontin, percocet, roxycodone, demerol, methadone, hydrocodone and others are responsible for more overdose deaths in history. Synthetic opiates are highly addictive substances developed by major pharmaceutical companies. They either begin the process by using opium from the poppy plant to create a semi-synthetic opioid or Full synthetic (man-made) drugs like Fentanyl which is 50x more potent than heroin and 100x more potent than morphine. Opiates and synthetic opiate substances have taken too many lives partially due to the lack of education and information about the serious dangers and consequences of the use of these powerful drugs.

Also benzodiazepine overdose deaths are also at record levels. Benzodiazepines chemically produce an enhancing effect to the neurotransmitter GABA. Benzodiazepines contain chemicals which typically initially produce a calming effect and essentially in the initial stages of use can keep the brain in a more "tranquilized" state. Benzodiazepines like xanax, valium, librium, clorazepate, estazolam, flurazepam, loprazolam, temazepam and triazolam and others are extremely addictive. One of the most serious side effects of benzodiazepines that the long-term use of the drug will most often result in physical addiction. The withdrawal symptoms of benzodiazepines include difficulty sleeping, feeling irritable, extreme anxiety, panic episodes, tremors, excessive perspiration, difficulty concentrating, memory difficulties, nausea and throwing up, loss of weight, heart palpitations, headaches, muscular discomfort and rigidity, delusional thought, potential of seizures, psychosis, and suicidal thoughts. For people addicted to Benzodiazepines it is vital that they do not suddenly stop without professional medical assistance. Stopping suddenly once addicted can result in the above life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, it is vitally important seek the professional assistance of a medically assisted benzodiazepine detoxification.

There is not enough action being taken on the above urgent matters, proven by the long term steady overwhelming increase in overdose death revolving around these drugs. It is time for people to become acutely aware of this matter and to also take the responsibility to inform others about the extreme dangers of these drugs. It is vital for all of us as a society to confront this vital issue that is taking the lives of so many innocent people and place importance on educating people about these dangerous drugs on a massive scale.

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