TYLER, Texas — In the past year alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 107,000 overdose deaths.
The synthetic opioid fentanyl is responsible for nearly 70% of deadly overdoses and is the leading cause of death for people 18 to 45 years old according to the CDC.
Local physician Neil Adelman said in a clinical situation fentanyl is used for anesthesia in very tiny amounts. If taken from the street, it can creep up on the patient quickly and they will die.
He said many physicians are afraid to even prescribe opioids because of the repercussions from the state and government. In result, the people who need the medication are suffering terribly. He added the opioid problem in East Texas isn't getting any better and there needs to be an expansion of resources available.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is spearheading efforts to get the substance off the streets.
Gov. Greg Abbott declared Aug. 31 National Overdose Awareness Day in an effort to bring a change to the opioid crisis.
If you or someone you know is struggling from opioid addiction there are resources in East Texas to get help.
Local resources include: