Shreveport and the Opioid Epidemic
The national opioid epidemic has impacted Shreveport and all of Louisiana. In 2017, an overdose on at least one drug killed 1,257 people throughout the state. About 400 of those deaths involved at least one opioid, a significant increase from the 320 fatal opioid overdoses which occurred in Louisiana the previous year. Illegal opioids, especially fentanyl, contribute most to the surge of overdoses which characterize the opioid epidemic. Drug traffickers who sell illegal opioids are actively fueling the opioid crisis in Shreveport, but fortunately, law enforcement often stops them. For example, police arrested two men from Texas in 2018 near Shreveport who were carrying ten kilograms of fentanyl into Louisiana. According to the U.S. Attorney who prosecuted their case, their supply of fentanyl was powerful enough to kill everyone in the state. Addiction to prescription opioids also remains a serious problem across Louisiana. In 2017, health care providers in Louisiana dispensed 89.5 opioid prescriptions per every 100 Louisiana residents, a figure which is much larger than the national average of 58 opioid prescriptions per every 100 Americans.
The combination of prescription and illegal opioids in Louisiana caused at least 15 deaths in the Shreveport area in 2017, while many more Shreveport residents began an opioid addiction. In response, the federal government granted Louisiana about $15 million to fund efforts to prevent more opioid deaths in Caddo Parish. In 2018, the rate of fatal drug overdoses (including opioid overdoses) in Shreveport and throughout Louisiana appeared to slightly decline, although data for 2018 is incomplete. This sign of hope is partially the result of the federal funding, but the greater awareness of the epidemic as well as the requirement that police officers and emergency responders carry Narcan, a medication which reverses the effects of opioid overdoses, have also helped. The Louisiana government has even organized “drug take-back” days in Shreveport for residents who want to safely and legally relinquish dangerous opioids to the authorities.
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Drug Trafficking in Shreveport
As an important city at the intersection of Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas, Shreveport has been a center for drug traffickers who are trying to transport and sell their dangerous products. Police in Shreveport arrested the members of a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy in 2017. The following year, another Shreveport man was sentenced to prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine throughout Louisiana. Meth isn’t the only drug which traffickers have brought to Shreveport. Police arrested a man in Shreveport in 2017 for conspiring to sell almost thirty grams of cocaine.
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Finding Help in Shreveport
Opioid addiction and drug trafficking certainly present Louisiana with serious challenges, but if you or someone you know is struggling to overcome addiction, there are treatment centers in Shreveport and throughout Louisiana which specialize in helping people achieve lasting recovery from substance abuse. If you’re ready to make a change in your life, contact a dedicated treatment professional today to learn more about which recovery center in Shreveport might be the right place for you.