If you have been paying attention to the news in the past few years, you may have noticed a lot of articles about the opioid crisis. The media often spends a lot of resources on anything sensational to attract viewers, so some people may wonder if the crisis is as bad as it seems or just overreported.

Some would say the opioid crisis is far worse than it seems. It has returned grandparents to parenting roles while their adult children battle with addiction. People who struggle with addiction are losing their parental rights, losing their careers and often losing their lives. CNBC reported in 2018 that in the prior year, 72,000 people died of overdoses related to opioids.

Dealers find workarounds

Many distributors of illicit drugs have found ways to outsmart the system and keep selling. When law enforcement successfully blocked a large portion of the inflow of heroin into the country, people turned to synthetic versions that were even more dangerous. Even young people are getting involved at high levels. One teen, his brothers and his friends spent a two-year period distributing almost 150,000 oxycodone pills.

Recognizing the dangers of synthetics

When overdoses occur from a drug ring, the penalties for distribution are often much higher. Because of this, heroine synthetic drug fentanyl may soon become responsible for much more serious drug charges. The drug is 50 times more addictive than heroin, which exponentially increases the likelihood of an overdose. The drug itself is also more potent per ounce. To make matters worse, people are mixing these with pills and coke and selling it. The fact that it is much cheaper helps to boost sales.

If you or someone you know becomes convicted of dealing these drugs, it might not take prosecutors long to tie it to at least one overdose. Note that in some cases, even sharing drugs for free may lead to charges if there is a resulting fatality.