Opioid Dealers Cut OffPosted on: May 20, 2020
National Public Radio (NPR) reported on Monday that opioid supplies are “drying up” in some areas of the country as dealers began retreating into their homes and in some cases, back to other countries of origin. Moreover, as the supply has shrunk, the cost has also gone up, significantly. All of the normal channels that would have allowed for the traffic of methamphetamine and heroin are shut down, not because of the Drug Enforcement Administration, but because of a worldwide quarantine.
Said one head of the DEA:
Increased police presence and stay-at-home orders have also discouraged dealers and buyers from meeting in public…
On the other hand, Well Being Trust, a clinical prevention foundation issued a report showing that opioid overdoses were finally, seemingly, starting to level off or drop, ever so slightly between 2017 and 2018. That is, if you don’t differentiate between synthetic and semisynthetic opioids.
Rates of overdose deaths involving natural and semisynthetic opioids and heroin were lower in 2018, while rates of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, cocaine, and other psychostimulants were higher. Overdoses involving synthetic opioids, cocaine, and other psychostimulants were responsible for 14.0 deaths per 100,000 in 2018—up from 3.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2013.
Trying to predict how these numbers will be impacted by a break in the 2020 drug supply chain may be a fool’s errand right now, but limited access to illegal opioids and less physical contact may, at the very least, help to lower the rate and the pattern and the trajectory of overdose deaths were on.