Deadly fentanyl epidemic striking Texans already weary by COVID-19 fight

The delta variant of COVID-19 isn't the only public health crisis facing Texas. Deaths related to opioid fentanyl is on the rise in the U.S., with the CDC reporting more than 93,000 people have died from the drug in just the last year.

Dr. Jasmine Drake with the Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University has studied the deadly affects of opioids, with attention to how they have disproportionately affect Black communities and other people of color compared to white opioid users. No matter what race or age however, it is clear that fentanyl is a very dangerous opioid that can easily cause an overdose.

People in Houston are steadily dying from the drug, with 19 people dying from the drug in 2013. By 2019, that number had risen to 104. Last year, as the coronavirus raged in our community, 296 people died from fentanyl.

"What we're seeing is that it is impacting people of all ages, it's impacting people of all races and ethnicities," warns Dr. Jasmine Drake, with the Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University. "It's in your suburbs, it's in your rural areas and farming communities, and it's also growing in your urban cities, and so that's quite alarming when we think about Houston being an urban setting. We're actually seeing those numbers skyrocket."

Watch the full townhall here.