It’s going to be hard to stem the tide of fentanyl in the US, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Fentanyl and its close cousins are at the root of spikes in drug overdose deaths in the US, with recent federal data reporting an exponential rise among those over age 65. Eric Strain, a substance use disorders expert at Johns Hopkins, says compared to our current crisis, curbing prescription opioid overdoses looks retrospectively like a simple problem.

Strain: It’s not just the elderly. It’s across all age groups. We’ve got this terrible fentanyl problem. And we are not in the same position that we were with prescription opioid misuse where we can get control of it relatively easily. Doctors misprescribing opioids was actually a relatively easy problem to address. Licensing boards and other state and federal agencies can come down on the doctors who are prescribing opioids and shut them down.  :29

Strain notes that many fentanyl laced mock prescription drugs are purchased online, so buyer beware. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.