Last week, Lincoln saw six reports of overdose make their way to its PD crime tracking webpages. Since April, there have been as many as 23 and probably even more.
The trend isn’t exactly new either. Reports by the National Institute on Drug Abuse from 2017 suggest that 152 fatalities due to drug overdose took place that year. The trend seems to be on a sharp incline for 2019, however.
Lincoln Police Department declared two cases of drug overdose on the same day this weekend. But they haven’t been able to determine which drugs caused the deaths. Nor could they discern from where they originated.
Dangers of Drug Abuse
Lincoln Police Department Chief Jeff Bliemeister highlights the danger of ingesting drugs obtained illegally. He states that the main problem is that dealers tend to mix these drugs with all sorts of substances, many of which can cause significant harm to the body. Buyers have no feasible way of figuring out what ingredients they added, putting them at greater risk.
The rate of overdoses has been on the rise for quite some time. There were some 6.9 cases of overdose per 100 thousand people in 2016. That number jumped to 8.9 in 2017. Meanwhile, this number was only 3.6 some ten or more years ago.
CenterPointe Addiction and Mental Health’s Topher Hansen added that he too had noticed a worrying pattern. CenterPointe’s most frequent patients are dependant on methamphetamine and alcohol. Over the last five years though, he realized that the number of clients coming for treatment of opiate and opioid addiction has been growing higher.
The chances of overdosing on opiates and opioids are dramatically higher than with other substances. One of their biggest hazards is that they can block the respiratory system, cutting off the body’s air supply. New users are especially at risk, due to their bodies’ lower tolerance to the drugs.