‘Fourth Wave’ of Opioid Epidemic Crashes Ashore, Propelled by Fentanyl and Meth

The United States is currently experiencing a fourth wave of the opioid epidemic, with experts identifying a significant increase in the use of multiple substances at the same time, especially the combination of fentanyl with methamphetamine or cocaine. Over 93% of fentanyl-positive urine samples contained additional substances, and the use of methamphetamine and fentanyl together saw an 875% increase since 2015. The report emphasizes the dangers of polysubstance use, compounding the complexity of addiction treatment. While heroin and prescribed opioid use alongside fentanyl have declined, it doesn’t necessarily indicate a decrease in danger as the drug supply is constantly changing, putting people at greater risk.

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