Fentanyl is Termed “The Third Wave” of the Opioid Crisis

Fentanyl Opioid CrisisAccording to a study conducted and published by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl is now identified as “The Third Wave” of the opioid crisis. In addition, fentanyl was present in over 89% of deadly overdoses through October 2018, nearly double the percentage in 2013.

Merianne Rose Spenser, an author of the study, stated that these fatal overdoses are increasing even faster among Latino Americans and Black Americans. In addition, the number of death certificates, which include mention of fentanyl for people between the ages of 25-34, has also increased drastically.

Where is the Fentanyl Problem Most Prevalent?

There are various “hot zones” in the United States, and Massachusetts has been noted as one of the most affected zones. According to David Kelly, the Deputy Director of The New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Unit, fentanyl seizures have spiked in an unpredictable manner.

The following “hot zones” have seen the highest rate in overdose deaths:

  • The New England area
  • Mid-Atlantic states
  • Upper Midwest states

Unfortunately, Massachusetts has become what they call the “test market” for fentanyl due to the area’s large market for opioids.

What are the 3 Waves of The Opioid Crisis?

In totality, the opioid crisis includes the following three waves:

  • The 1st wave: Prescription pain meds (Oxycontin and others)
  • The 2nd wave: Heroin
  • The 3rd wave: Fentanyl

Sadly, the opioid crisis, which now includes fentanyl, does not show any signs of declining soon. With this being said, it is more important than ever that communities find better ways to connect with addicts and family members of addicts. We must be diligent in our efforts to put this crisis to an end, and it takes all parties working together to make that happen.

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