In Scientific American: People Are Dying Because of Ignorance, not Because of Opioids by Carl L. Hart
I am concerned that declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency will serve primarily to increase law-enforcement budgets, precipitating an escalation of this same sort of routine racial discrimination. […]
It is certainly possible to die from an overdose of an opioid alone, but this accounts for a minority of the thousands of opioid-related deaths. Many are caused when people combine an opioid with another sedative (such as alcohol), an antihistamine (such as promethazine) or a benzodiazepine (such as Xanax or Klonopin). People are not dying because of opioids; they are dying because of ignorance.