Opioid abuse: A growing epidemic

Published: Mar. 12, 2018 at 2:28 PM CDT
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Opioid addiction is a national epidemic and Webb County has seen its fair share of the complications as the number of deaths continues to climb.

On the border, the drug of choice is known as black tar, which is a type of heroin that assimilates the consistency of molasses and is the preferred narcotic for many because of its purity.

According to the DEA the narcotic is illegally obtained from our neighboring country Mexico, where the production of opioids is their number one business.

In Webb County, the number of deaths related to opioid use are 20 to 25 a year, which is less than any other city in the country, but high for Laredo.

According to the Webb County Medical Examiner’s Office, the deaths are caused as users cut the heroin with the synthetic opioid named fentanyl.

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine itself.

Dr. Corinne Stern with the Examiner’s Office says fentanyl and some of these other drugs are becoming highly addictive and we may need to find to other avenues to help patients control their pain.

Most of the drug users that die in Laredo are people who travel from out of state to buy the opioid here.

According to the Medical Examiner’s Office, local deaths do occur in the city from opioids but it’s minimal

Locals that die from an overdose are those who have been in jail and have not used in a while.