Illegally Manufactured Opioids and Drug-Related Deaths

A report released on by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed alarming statistics about the rise in drug overdose deaths during 2015. CNN reported that CDC officials are extremely concerned about the number of deaths involving opioids, blaming prescription drug misuse and heroin use. However, CDC specifically pointed to illegally manufactured drugs like fentanyl as a factor in the sharp uptick in deaths. Statements by the agency’s director coincide with CNN’s own report on drug deaths for 2015. As the incidents of deaths due to illicitly created controlled substances reaches epidemic proportions, it’s clear that law enforcement will be cracking down on drug manufacturing activities.

Shocking Drug Crime Statistics

According to the CDC report, deaths due to drug overdose in 2015 surged to 9,580, up 73 percent over the previous year. The majority of the deaths were traced to fentanyl, both legally and illegally manufactured. Overdose deaths linked to prescription opioids were up just four percent during that same time period, while those related to heroin increased 23 percent to 12,990. CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden expressed remorse that prescription opioid misuse, heroin and illegally manufactured fentanyl are closely related, very upsetting issues.

Fentanyl is Deadly

The drug fentanyl is a pain reliever that is more than 100 times as strong as morphine; it’s also up to 50 times more powerful than heroin. In conducting research for the report, the CDC found illegally manufactured fentanyl to be involved with the overdose deaths, as opposed to usage of the substance by prescription. Fentanyl is often prescribed for terminally ill cancer patients and is an effective pain killer when taken under a physician’s care. In a separate report issued December 6, 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stated that a record-setting 167 kilograms of illegally manufactured fentanyl were seized by law enforcement during 2015.

In October 2016, CNN released its own report on drug deaths, based on statistics obtained from all 50 US states. The study concluded that drugs are the leading cause of accidental deaths in the nation, surpassing shooting fatalities and traffic accidents. CNN interviewed epidemiologists in various states, who blame the jump on greater use of illegally manufactured opioids, specifically fentanyl. A combination of increased funding for addiction treatment and expansion of law enforcement efforts may have an impact on these statistics.

In San Diego California, a conviction for manufacturing a controlled substance like fentanyl can mean up to seven years in county jail and a maximum fine of $50,000. Plus, the crime may be enhanced if there is a child under the age of 16 in the manufacturing location, adding two years to your sentence. Considering these severe consequences, it’s critical that you consult with an experienced drug crimes attorney if you’re facing charges for drug manufacturing. A lawyer can fight for your rights in court and present defenses to the prosecution’s allegations, possibly resulting in a reduced sentence. Please contact a qualified criminal attorney in San Diego to discuss the specifics of your case or with questions about drug manufacturing charges.

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