The official statistics on the Opioid Epidemic for the year 2017 are in, and show the Epidemic is only getting worse.
The Opioid Epidemic has undisputedly been the most urgent public health crisis of the past several years. Since 2000, over 300,000 Americans have lost their lives to opioid overdoses.
Furthermore, the Epidemic has cost the nation nearly a trillion dollars in the same time period, and continues to climb. This ultimately has resulted in countless attempts by various government agencies to stem the tide of the Epidemic, including the White House declaring it a nationwide Public Health Emergency.
Despite all these efforts, however, the Epidemic has officially worsened according to the recently released data by the Center for Disease Control in 2017.
What do the new statistics say?
From the period of January 2017 to January 2018, 71,568 Americans died of drug overdoses. This figure represents a 6.6-% increase from the previous year, and thus represents the new record for number of overdoses in one year.
The figure is actually considered preliminary data, and is expected to rise as currently pending investigations are closed and reported.
What caused the 6.6-% increase this year?
The culprit of this years increase in drug overdoses is the same as the previous two years: the synthetic opioid Fentanyl. Fentanyl is approximately one hundred times stronger than morphine, and can be fatal in doses measured in only micrograms.
To make matters worse, Fentanyl is very rarely marketed as what is being sold in illicit drugs. It typically is either sold as heroin, mixed with heroin, sold in counterfeit pills, or mixed in with various other drugs. Thus, the user hardly ever knows that they are even using the highly dangerous drug.
What can be done?
The numbers, above all, make one thing clear. Those addicted to opioids are at risk for death every single time they use. More than ever, the time for treatment is now. The simple truth, based on these statistics, is that the next high could very well be the last thing the user ever does.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.