In the latest news from the United States’ growing opioid crisis, recent studies have suggested that the national drug overdose death rates are higher than ever before.
During the last quarter of 2016, drug overdoses in the U.S. rose quickly and dramatically. According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the period between October and December of last year saw overdose death rates rise by more than twenty percent compared to the same period in 2015.
These numbers represent an ongoing and troubling upward trend. The previous record for overdose deaths was set just a few months before, during the third quarter of 2016. The amount of drug overdose deaths has more than quadrupled in the past decade. Overall, 64,000 Americans died from a drug overdose last year, making overdoses more dangerous than gun homicide.
After a string of high-profile deaths and increasing pressure from state governors and health officials, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. However, some critics took issue with the White House’s decision to stop short of declaring the crisis a national disaster, which would have given states access to the billions of dollars in federal disaster relief funds rather than the slim $57,000 currently reserved for public health emergencies.
Experts have recommended broadening Medicaid, which enables many poor Americans to access necessary public health resources and setting up safe injection sites where opioids could be dosed under medical supervision. While the federal provision does not take these extreme measures, it could be the first step in securing additional federal grant money and expanding access to telemedicine in rural areas of the country, many of which have been hardest hit by the opioid crisis.
Data from the CDC also explains that three out of every five drug overdose deaths was linked to an opioid, whether from abuse of prescription medications or illegal “street drugs” like heroin. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl present an even graver risk since they are 50 to 100 times more potent than prescription opioids like morphine.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to opioids, then you don’t need to fight this battle on your own. Contact CARUS Recovery at 877-225-7774 to learn more about our life-changing recovery programs!