By German Lopez Feb. 13, 2022 NY Times
Drug overdoses now kill more than 100,000 Americans a year — more than vehicle crash and gun deaths combined.
Sean Blake was among those who died. He overdosed at age 27 in Vermont, from a mix of alcohol and fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. He had struggled to find effective treatment for his addiction and other potential mental health problems, repeatedly relapsing.
“I do love being sober,” Blake wrote in 2014, three years before his death. “It’s life that gets in the way.”
Blake’s struggles reflect the combination of problems that have allowed the overdose crisis to fester. First, the supply of opioids surged. Second, Americans have insufficient access to treatment and other programs that can ease the worst damage of drugs.
Mary DiAntonio kisses a portrait of her son Angelo DiAntonio during a memorial service for overdose victims in Pittsburgh last year. Credit...Nate Guidry/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP