For the past decade and a half, our country has struggled with a drug overdose epidemic. It began with prescription painkillers that, at first, unknowingly caused addiction. Then, as people began to notice the harmful effects of painkiller abuse and started to crack down on the supply, heroin became the drug of choice. Today, there are many drugs on the market that cause more people to die of overdose each year than those who die in a car accident or of a gun fatality. This is an issue, an issue that our K9 dogs in Fort Worth are working hard to overcome.

The Start

Largely, the painkiller epidemic started in the Appalachian region and northwest New Mexico. These are two areas of the country that have large industrial influences and workers who are in the mines, fields, and factories exhausting their bodies and desiring pain relief. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have provided drug poisoning data from 1999 to 2014. According to the CDC, in 1999 there were six deaths per 100,000 people caused by drug overdose in the United States.

The Problem

The drug overdose spiraled out of control quickly as people became addicted to the opioid substances. Heroin is a significant problem today because it is cheaper opioid than painkillers, and there has been less of a focus on preventing heroin use.

People get addicted to drugs because there are not enough resources dedicated to addiction recovery or problem awareness. Today, there are more than 14 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people (noted by the CDC’s records of 2014, the most recent collection of this statistic).

The three main substances causing these overdose deaths are prescription painkillers, heroin, and fentanyl. Fentanyl is a new opioid drug in the battle, a drug that is even cheaper than heroin and has stronger opioid effects, therefore causing more people to overdose since they are striving for the highest of highs. It is devastating.

Texas has fortunately evaded much of the severe drug use; however, drug overdose deaths still impact every single county in our state. Recently, The Guardian published an impressive article that cumulated the drug overdose statistics and categorized them by county using an interactive map. Let’s look at our numbers.

  • In 1999 Tarrant County suffered between four and eight overdose deaths.
  • In 2014 Tarrant County suffered between 12 and 16 overdose deaths.

The overdose deaths have quadrupled. This must end.

One Potential Solution

Awareness makes an impact. When people understand the severe drug problem that plagues every place in our country, they are more likely to offer help to the affected. Addiction is not something that can be “turned off,” and people need the support of a strong community.

Share with others in our community so everyone can join together and end this epidemic that is still on the rise. The more people know about the epidemic, the more likely they are to recognize it in loved ones and put a stop to it before the results are unfavorable.

If you suspect someone you know and love is using drugs, do your part to help save their life before they become another overdose statistic.

Our team can help you locate drugs in your home, school, or workplace with the use of our expert K9 dogs who can do a search. We serve the greater Fort Worth area with accurate and timely investigations.