12,000 suspected fentanyl pills found in candy boxes at LAX security checkpoint.
Fentanyl deaths have risen over 2,500 percent since 2000, the CDC shows. (See: The U.S. Is on the Verge of Overturning Marijuana Prohibition, As Lawmaker Looks at Fentanyl Use).
We’ve also seen the rise of synthetic opioids.
In 2017, California sold more synthetics than heroin, reports The New York Times.
The Times points out that synthetic opioid deaths, specifically fentanyl, have risen more than 5,000 percent since the late 1980s.
For example, in 2017, deaths related to synthetic opioids exceeded heroin deaths for the first time in 20 years.
Fentanyl abuse and overdose have taken the spotlight, but there’s another type of drug abuse on the rise, as well.
From 2016-2017 there were 7,640 cases of substance abuse and dependence at homeless shelters throughout the U.S.
There were more than 1,500 more admissions at the nation’s largest homeless shelter system.
The growth of homeless, drug abuse, and substance abuse in the U.S. — and in the U.S.’s most vulnerable population, people living with disabilities — appears to be happening at an uncharacteristically fast rate.
“We are currently experiencing an unprecedented outbreak of substance abuse on our streets,” stated Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in a news release.
“This epidemic doesn’t discriminate by age, race or economic status. Our city is now a dangerous place for everyone in our city, and this is not who we are as a people.”
Garcetti and California Governor Jerry Brown have ordered a statewide shelter-in-place order for all non-essential businesses and public gatherings for the next seven days.
The order was extended to all California state parks Saturday.
This is a critical time in California, as the state is struggling to meet its mandated financial obligations to the Homeless and Supportive Housing Assistance, or HoSA, program.
Despite being one of the state’s most expensive and difficult to meet obligations for homeless assistance, the state has not been able to reduce its deficit to zero.
According to the Washington Post, the state is one of the few that still have a deficit to meet.
Garcetti and Brown have also directed