Deadlier versions of fentanyl and meth driving homeless crisis with debilitating addiction and mental illness

Deadlier and more addictive forms of methamphetamine and fentanyl are now reportedly flooding America’s streets, driving the homeless crisis as users devolve into debilitating addiction and mental illness, preventing them from being able to function normally and killing many of them.

“These two drugs come in such enormous quantities and have such staggering potency that they do the job far more masterfully than drugs have done it before,” author Sam Quinones, who wrote in detail about the opioid crisis in books such as “Dreamland” and “The Least of Us,” stated in an interview with the Intelligencer last week.

“So you have methamphetamine that is driving people to homelessness, and becoming incoherent and irrational and delusional and paranoid,” he contended.

His comments are on point as the homeless population across the United States has exploded over the last several years, with much of it ostensibly due to drug addiction.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness wrote this year that the country’s homeless population fell from a high of over 647,000 in 2007 to nearly 550,000 in 2016. It has now jumped, rising again to over 580,000 by 2020, which is the most recent year data was compiled.

Shelters across the nation are reporting that their populations have tripled over the last year. Add that to the massive homeless encampments that are now endemic to major cities spanning the country and it is easy to conclude that drugs are creating an epidemic of addiction and mental illness. It’s arguably far more deadly than COVID ever was.

Many factors have played into the growing homeless situation, including an economy slammed by the pandemic and then record inflation. But drugs are by far and away a bigger contributor to the problem as Quinones points out.

He notes that new strains of meth have had a debilitating impact on people across the nation, resulting in them being forced out onto the streets where they live a life focused on scoring their next high.

“Both of those drugs, together and alone, make it so that people will literally refuse treatment, will literally refuse housing even when they’re living in tent encampments, even when they’re living in feces, in lethal temperatures, beaten, pimped out, because they do such a masterful job in potency and in supply of keeping, of thwarting that instinct to self-preservation,” he added.

Fentanyl is potentially fatal even in small doses. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, 82.3% of opioid-involved overdose deaths in 2020 involved synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

Rather than accidental overdoses, the health of meth users tends to decay over time leading to eventual death. It’s a slow ride to the grave rather than fentanyl’s rocket result.

“It doesn’t kill people. It’s also like the pure raw face of addiction — people out of their minds wandering in the streets, screaming naked like some Allen Ginsberg poem,” Quinones stated. “It’s something that people would prefer not to have to face, I think. It’s easier to send condolences to someone who’s dead than to deal with someone who is out in the streets, out of his mind.”

Meth on its own can cause potentially fatal heart damage and sometimes acute overdoses, and meth-related deaths are broadly surging. Mixing its use with powerful opioids such as fentanyl can be even deadlier. Close to two-thirds of the people who died while on psychostimulants last year also had opioids in their systems,” the Wall Street Journal wrote.

There is a new and more dangerous strain of meth out there now, reportedly resulting in increased mental illness and homelessness. Instead of using ephedrine in meth, drug dealers are now reportedly pushing a meth liquid called phenyl-2-propanone, or P2P. Ingredients are commonly found in cheap, legal, chemicals which means higher profits for dealers. It is poisoning thousands of Americans.

“At no point in the history of the so-called drug war have we seen the kind of collaborative efforts that must take place, that can take place, between Mexico and the United States nationally,” Quinones asserted. “But I do believe that this now requires a collaborative relationship between the two countries, but one that does not tiptoe around the truth, which is that Mexico has a real problem with deep corruption in the criminal justice system.”

(Video Credit: Fox News)

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