Heroin overdoses are increasing in Mississippi

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017

We recently reported that due to the rise of heroin overdoses, the state passed a bill to allow emergency responders to provide that medication without legal repercussions.

And there’s good reason why that bill was passed. According to a story released by the Clarion Ledger, the number of heroin overdose deaths is on the rise. In fact it has reached record levels in this state.

The story states that last year 211 deaths were reported due to drug overdoses. And that number is just an estimate. Not every coroner in the state uses the state crime lab; meaning that there could be as many as 274 drug overdose deaths.

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The increase in the prevalence of the drug is certainly creating a serious issue for families in the Magnolia state.

Another cause of the surge is that heroin is cheaper than opioid-based prescription medications. The Ledger story states that one pill of an opioid-based prescription can be sold on the street for up to $85, but heroin can be purchased for $10 a package. The amount in the package was not mentioned.

To compound that fact, some heroin that comes from the Mexican cartel is laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a drug made in China, where standards are known to be lax compared to those of the United States. The combination of both drugs creates a deadly cocktail. The Ledger story states that fentanyl was detected in 33 deaths last year.

If we rely on the state or federal government to fix this problem another drug will only take the place of heroin. The only real fix is to address the problem at its source, the person who uses it. Only by showing interest in our friends and loved ones and convincing them that drugs are not the way to address their problems will ground be made to stop the loss of lives due to overdoses.