The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers are reporting a drastic increase in the number of illicit drug overdoses death.
In the “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”, scientists reported a rise a 300% increase in the number of drug overdose deaths from 1999 to 2014. The cause of the rise in drug overdose deaths? Researchers point out that opioid drugs are the problem.
CDC researchers analyzed drug overdose deaths from 2010 to 2015 and specifically centered on opioid drug overdoses from 2014 to 2015. The CDC explains the growing market of heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl – an opioid medication that is several times stronger than heroin is the main public health crisis affecting Americans. In fact, the rates of deaths caused by opioids drugs have increased across the United States.
Researchers also pointed out that there has been a rise in drug overdose deaths since 1999. From 2014 to 2015 the number of people dying from drug overdose deaths increased by 11.4% as the number of drug overdose deaths increased by over 5,000 individuals. Meanwhile the number of opioid related drug overdoses increased by 15.6%.
The CDC also revealed that opioid related drug overdoses have increased dramatically in the Northeast and Southern United States. In fact, the largest increase in drug overdoses occurred in New York, followed by Connecticut and Illinois. Scientists argued that the number of people who died from a drug overdose in New York increased by 135.7%. Meanwhile, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Virginia saw a decrease in opioid drug overdoses.
The CDC further explains that a public health and law enforcement initiative is urgently needed to combat drug overdose deaths.
The CDC provided solutions to the growing Opioid drug overdose problem include:
- Improving access and use of prescription drug monitoring programs
- Enhancing naloxone distribution
- Increasing opioid use disorder treatment facilities
- Supporting law enforcement with strategies to reduce the supply of opioid drugs.
Last November, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) called prescription drugs the most significant drug-related threat to the United States.
In addition DEA report, the government agency pointed out that nearly 50 different people died as a result of taking a deadly synthetic drug called U-47700. In the report, the DEA explained U-47700 is a new type of synthetic opioid that is similar to heroin and prescription opioids but nearly 7 times stronger.
Typically sold in the form of a powder or a tablet, the DEA explains that the product is being sold as either illegal heroin or as an opioid medication. Consequently, drug users do not know what kind of drug they are ingesting. In a statement, the DEA argued U-47700 creates a “”Russian Roulette” scenario for any drug user”.