I am begging your readers to become informed before another generation of our youth become victims of the Drug Overdose Crisis which is all around us.

Recently released data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who record a number of drug overdose deaths – 93,331 – in 2020, and that is more than 20,000 deaths above the previous high in 2019 and the largest single-year percentage increase since 1999.

Overdose deaths were climbing before the pandemic and have continued to rise during the pandemic, not so much because of the pandemic as we are told.

Six years ago in 2015, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued an alert warning that illicit fentanyl was being added to illicit street heroin (and other drugs) sold to substance abusers. However, such warnings never appear on social media where addicts and others could be warned.

September 27, 2021, the DEA issued their next public safety alert, which identified a “sharp increase in Fake Prescription Pills containing Fentanyl and Meth.” And that,“40 percent of such counterfeit pills contain a potentially lethal level of Fentanyl.”

Over a decade before counterfeit pain pills became the problem, Florida mail-order pharmacies accepted copies of legal prescriptions which flooded small communities like Pennington, Va., and small towns in our state. Anecdotal admissions of recovering addicts verify this prescription chapter of the crisis and its end when Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs and the DEA stopped this source.

A specific substance does not in and of itself cause addiction, but what is “available” has everything to do with what drives local substance abuse and addiction.

This month’s DEA Public Safety Alert stressed, “all Americans to be vigilant and to take only medications prescribed by a medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist.”

This Alert identifies the overwhelming problem is sites on Facebook selling counterfeit prescription pills with this 40 percent known lethality.

Nowhere on Facebook are DEA Public Safety Alerts reaching those such as your adolescents who would buy counterfeit pills like oxycodone thinking them a safe government-regulated drug to experiment with. This when in fact 40 percent are killing our unsuspecting young people and skyrocketing overdose deaths more and more each year.

Facebook is not your reader’s friend, nor children’s safe babysitter. Social platforms have been found to lead to teen suicides and most definitely put them in contact with drugs which can kill!

Readers of your newspaper would be well served to limit their teens’ use of Facebook, and buy them a subscription to this newspaper online or from a newsstand.

I have no vested interest in any newspaper, but only local reporting will publish DEA Public Safety Alerts. Only here can parents and youth alike stay informed enough to not become a victim of this horrendous drug overdose crisis.

I am begging everyone to become more educated to the dangers or yet another generation of our youth will perish from this drug scourge. Please, become informed locally for the sake of your kids, so you will not live in regret for the rest of your life.

— Douglas Hughes lives in Logan.

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