According to Icelandic doctor Hjalti Már Björnsson, morphine addiction in Iceland is becoming an increasingly serious problems amongst young kids—one that authorities have to deal with as soon as possible, RÚV reports.
The situation seems in fact to be developing in a similar way to the United States, so much so that doctor Hjalti Már has called it a full-blown morphine epidemic.
Hjalti Már’s comments follow the news that about ten people had been admitted to the National University Hospital during Easter because of substance abuse, five of which were extremely serious, with individuals going into either respiratory or cardiac arrest. “We’re witnessing an increase in sales of strong morphine-based drugs and doctors’ prescriptions has also increased,” Hjalti explains. “But we’re also seeing more people who come to the emergency room on overdose, who then needs to be saved, just like it happened last weekend.”
Hjalti also warns authorities about the age of morphine addicts, and how the number of young people dying every year due to drug overdose in Iceland is growing steadily. Only last week, the police assisted a 17 years old kid who had gone into respiratory arrest because of drug abuse. Only a couple of hours before, the police had also arrested another young man found in serious conditions in the same building. So far, around 9 people have died of prescription drug abuse this year.
“Unfortunately we hear quite a few sad stories regarding the increasing mortality rate amongst young addicts in the past few years,” Hjalti adds. “There are dozens of kids who have died because of this, and this addiction epidemic is at least as serious as traffic accidents.”