The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is the leading national public health institute of the United States, conducted a report, in which they found out that 2014 was the worst year in drug overdose deaths in the US. According to them, ”things are apparently spiraling out of control” and currently, there’s a ”drug death epidemic” in the United States.
The report states that in 2014 almost 50,000 Americans died from drug-related overdoses. This number is not only more people than the people that died in road traffic accidents (experts project the number of traffic deaths to around 33,000 people in 2014), however, it is also more than twice the number of recorded ODs in the year of 2000.
In order to prevent this ”disease” from spreading, the CDC conducted a few points that they need the US Government to change:
- ”Limit initiation into opioid misuse and addiction. Opioid pain reliever prescribing has quadrupled since 1999. Providing health care professionals with additional tools and information—including safer guidelines for prescribing these drugs—can help them make more informed prescribing decisions.”
- ”Expand access to evidence-based substance use disorder treatment—including Medication-Assisted Treatment—for people who suffer from opioid use disorder.”
- ”Protect people with opioid use disorder by expanding access and use of naloxone—a critical drug that can reverse the symptoms of an opioid overdose and save lives.”
- ”State and local public health agencies, medical examiners and coroners, and law enforcement agencies must work together to improve detection of and response to illicit opioid overdose outbreaks to address this emerging threat to public health and safety.”
According to the report, the worst-affected states were West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Ohio. They also said in the report that the widespread availability of illegally produced synthetic opioids and inadequate treatment programs are responsible for the “worsening epidemic.”
The CDC made these statements about the case:
“Since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (opioid pain relievers and heroin).”
“During 2014, a total of 47,055 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States, representing a 1-year increase of 6.5%, from 13.8 per 100,000 persons in 2013 to 14.7 per 100,000 persons in 2014.”
“The rate of drug overdose deaths increased significantly for both sexes, persons aged 25–44 years and above 55 years, non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks, and in the Northeastern, Midwestern, and Southern regions of the United States.”
“Rates of opioid overdose deaths also increased significantly, from 7.9 per 100,000 in 2013 to 9.0 per 100,000 in 2014, a 14% increase.“
“The sharp increase in deaths involving synthetic opioids, other than methadone, in 2014 coincided with law enforcement reports of increased availability of illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a synthetic opioid.”
“These findings indicate that the opioid overdose epidemic is worsening. There is a need for continued action to prevent opioid abuse, dependence, and death, improve treatment capacity for opioid use disorders, and reduce the supply of illicit opioids, particularly heroin and illicit fentanyl.”
“More persons died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2014 than during any previous year on record. From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million persons in the United States have died from drug overdoses. In 2014, there were approximately one and a half times more drug overdose deaths in the United States than deaths from motor vehicle crashes.”