Aug 29, 2019
The rise of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids is unlike any drug crisis in U.S. history. Limiting policy responses to existing approaches will likely be insufficient and may condemn many people to early deaths.
The rates of overdose fatalities involving heroin or prescription opioids have slowed in recent years but are now outnumbered by overdoses involving synthetic opioids. The introduction of illicitly manufactured synthetic opioids like fentanyl to U.S. drug markets has presented new challenges for policymakers working to reverse this public health crisis. What do policymakers need to consider in their efforts to address this threat in the United States?
RAND researchers recently analyzed the past, present, and possible futures of fentanyl in the United States. In this briefing, Bryce Pardo, associate policy researcher, and Beau Kilmer, director of the Drug Policy Research Center, discuss: