Overdose Deaths Increase to Record High in 2017, CDC Estimates
Even as federal and state governments make efforts to stem the growing opioid epidemic through legislation to monitor and limit the availability of prescription painkillers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week released provisional estimates that indicate a continuing rise in overdose deaths, most notably those involving synthetic opioids.
According to the CDC, more than 72,000 Americans died as a result of a drug overdose in 2017, a 9.5 percent increase (or more than 6,000 additional deaths) over the previous 12-month period. Of the total deaths in 2017, nearly 30,000 were attributed to synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, which can be 50 times more potent than heroin and is often mixed with illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine.
The CDC recommends the following to prevent opioid overdose deaths:
- Prevent opioid use disorder and improve opioid prescribing to reduce exposure for patients where risks outweigh the benefits
- Treat opioid use disorder by improving access to evidence-based treatments, including medication-assisted therapy
- Expand access to and use of naloxone to reverse overdoses to prevent death
International Overdose Awareness Day, occurring on August 31 each year, aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. To learn more about how you can get involved in helping to prevent overdose deaths and support those affected in your community, visit https://www.overdoseday.com.
Please visit the link below for more information about the CDC report: