Opioid Overdoses At Records Highs

Opioid Overdoses At Records Highs

According to the report, drug overdose has resulted in nearly half a million deaths since 2000.

While tragic, these numbers are still outshadowed by another, equally disturbing statistic: The rise in deaths from people overdosing on powerful, legal opioid painkillers such as Vicodin or OxyContin - the same drugs many experts have said may open the door to later heroin use. The death rate from the most commonly prescribed opioid pain relievers (natural and semisynthetic opioids) increased 9%, the death rate from heroin increased 26%, and the death rate from synthetic opioids (a category that includes illicitly-made fentanyl and synthetic opioid pain relievers other than methadone) increased 80%. "It started sort of south of here in Appalachia and rural Ohio and it's just gone everywhere and there are far too many deaths of particularly young people from opioid overdoses", said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky and OH had the highest overdose death rates.

Nationwide, the pace of heroin deaths continued to soar, more than tripling in four years. The numbers may increase in the following years.

Texas saw 2,601 fatal overdoses in that same year, but that was just a 4 percent increase from the previous year.

The rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased by 137% since 2000. To curb these trends and save lives, we must help prevent addiction and provide support and treatment to those who suffer from opioid use disorders.

The ongoing problem of drug abuse only shows that it is really important for law enforcement like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to work harder in reducing the street availability of such drugs. Neil Kennedy Recovery Center's executive director for OH says the Mahoning Valley is doing a good job at providing treatment options to people but adds Suboxone alone will not create change.

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