Guest Blog by Katherine Finnell, National Drug Screening
It’s no surprise illicit drug use often leads to death. With an estimated 450,000 drug related deaths over the past ten years it now surpasses traffic fatalities in the US. What is a surprise is the current drug of choice: fentanyl. According to the CDC Report published December 12, 2018 fentanyl killed more people than heroin, and oxycodone in 2016.
Fentanyl is a prescription pain medication that is most commonly used for post-surgery recovery, and painful cancer related illnesses. It is not commonly prescribed for long-term pain management and therefore should be significantly more difficult to gain illicit access to.
The numbers in the report are staggering however: 18,335 overdose deaths for fentanyl, 15,961 for heroin, and 63,632 overdose deaths overall in 2016.
“In 2016, unintentional drug overdose deaths most frequently mentioned fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine, while suicides by drug overdose most frequently mentioned oxycodone, diphenhydramine, hydrocodone, and alprazolam.”
If you suspect a loved one may be using illicit drugs now is the time to open up the conversation about seeking treatment. If you feel your employees may be effected by illicit drug use now is the time to consider a Drug Free Workplace Policy.
National Drug Screening is a great resource for discrete personal drug testing, Drug Free Workplace Programs, and training for how to handle different drug related situations. You can learn at our website, www.NationalDrugScreening.com or call 866-843-4545 and once of our team members can assist you.