A love affair with drugs won’t last long

Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Would you dance with me?

Dance with me, I want to be your partner

Can’t you see the music is just starting?

Night is falling, and I am falling

Dance with me

Fantasy could never be so giving

I feel free, I hope that you are willing

Pick the beat up, and kick your feet up

Dance with me

The lyrics are from the 1975 hit song, Dance with Me, written by John Hall of the soft rock band called Orleans.

Every day, more Americans are deciding to take the dangerous step of dancing with fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.

Whenever I think about how serious this crisis has become in our country I am reminded of the lyrics in the song above which captures the essence of addiction — “fantasy could never be so giving … dance with me.”

Americans looking for an altered state of mind or fantasy have contributed to a major crisis in our country. In fact, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national advocacy group, recently reported that “Deaths from heroin increased 328 percent between 2010 and 2015, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now seeing a sharp rise as well. The report went on to reveal that more Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes, and this increasing trend is driven by Rx painkillers.

Communities in Georgia are not unaffected either. Just this past week, it was discovered that four deaths of individuals thinking they were purchasing Percocet, occurred in central and South Georgia.

In fact, there were nearly 40 overdoses related to the drug that law enforcement officials believe was tainted with fentanyl.  Investigators said the overdoses were reported over a two-hour span in Centerville, Perry, Macon, Warner Robins and Albany.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said the opioid crisis may reflect the greater availability of illegally made fentanyl. The most potent narcotic known, it is a man-made opioid, 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more so than morphine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control website.

The question I have rhetorically asked before is, why would a person risk their life knowing the dangers of fentanyl?

For opioid users, the answer is simple – it is the “dance into an altered reality-the ultimate high.”

The drug is so dangerous that it can get into the body just through contact with the skin. The problem is negatively impacting virtually every community in the United States. Because of the crisis related to overdoses, Narcan (used to stabilize persons who overdose on opioids) is fast becoming standard issue for police officers — potentially adding to their job description the responsibility of being an emergency medic.

By the way, a love affair with fentanyl, ultimately becomes the final dance.

Dr. Glenn Dowell is an author and columnist who currently lives in Jonesboro, Georgia. He has been a guest speaker on major college campuses, including having appeared on TV programs such as the Oprah Winfrey Show. He may be reached at gdowell@live.com