Two of the most addictive and dangerous drugs are killing people, and rather than taper off, it appears that they are becoming more popular. Both methamphetamine and fentanyl are being used by more people nationwide, leading to more overdoses and addictions.
According to the drug testing company Millennium Health, more people are testing positive for the drug. Drug screenings, ordered by medical providers, drug treatment facilities, and correctional facilities, show that positive drug tests increased 78% for fentanyl. And, at least at the beginning of the pandemic, methamphetamine use increased 29%. (This was, however, only for the first nine months of the pandemic compared to the same period in 2019.)
Where Do the Statistics Come From?
While cocaine and heroin use seemed to spike early in the pandemic, usage dropped off, perhaps as the supply was cut off through border traffic.
Where Has the Drug Use Increased?
Most of the increased fentanyl usage in the US is in the Northwest, including Oregon, Alaska, California, and Washington. Sadly, at the same time, there was a large increase in synthetic opioid-related deaths in the region.
Methamphetamine use increased in both Virginia and Nevada, where drug tests showed an increased positivity rate of 300%. While prescription drug abuse remained relatively the same, there seemed to be an increase in Tramadol usage, an opioid-like drug that is known to be addictive.
Pandemic Still Affecting Supply
The pandemic has made it more difficult for many drug users to find their drug of choice. Many people who have overdose from fentanyl have done so accidentally; many drug dealers add fentanyl as an adulterant, mostly when selling counterfeit pills.
Cocaine use and psychedelic drug use have diminished somewhat due to the difficulty finding and trafficking supplies of these drugs. This has allowed other drug dealers to flood the market with synthetic opioids and other, less known party drugs.