Spriester Sessions' Opioid Nation: An American Epidemic


SAN ANTONIO – Here are five things we learned in this edition of Spriester Sessions:

  • “We have a slow, steady and persistent increase in opioids. It started around 2006 and 2007 and continues to this day.”

There’s a misconception that San Antonio is immune to the opioid crisis, but experts see the number of people abusing opioids increase every year.

  • “It’s not that we don’t have the problem, it’s that we’re not reporting the problem.”

One of the challenges Texas faces when it comes to understanding the extent of the opioid epidemic in our state is that doctors in the majority of Texas counties and cities aren’t determining cause of death. This leads to underreporting of death due to overdose.

  • “This happens to everybody, the very best families.”

Most people become addicted through legal drugs.

  • “What’s killing people in this country right now is heroin and fentanyl.”

Although many people become addicted through prescription opioids, these are not the kinds of opiates primarily causing deadly overdoses.

  • “Our goal at the task force is to get naloxone into the hands, not just of SAPD officers, not just sheriff’s deputies, but of you and me.”

Approximately 1,800 overdoses were reversed last year in San Antonio with the help of naloxone, but many more people died because paramedics could not reach them in time. Experts believe that by making naloxone accessible to more people, lives could be saved.

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