Saturday, January 23, 2021
Home Life Style Health & Fitness Fatal Drug Overdoses Decline in US; First Drop in Two Decades

Fatal Drug Overdoses Decline in US; First Drop in Two Decades

The trend was driven by a steep decline in deaths linked to prescription painkillers

Fatal drug overdoses in the U.S. declined by 5.1 percent in 2018, according to preliminary official data released Wednesday, the first drop in two decades. The trend was driven by a steep decline in deaths linked to prescription painkillers.

“The latest provisional data on overdose deaths show that America’s united efforts to curb opioid use disorder and addiction are working,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, though he cautioned the epidemic would not be stopped overnight.

The total number of estimated deaths dropped to 68,557 in 2018 against 72,224 the year before, according to the figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But that number is still far higher than the 16,849 overdose deaths in 1999, a figure that rose every year until 2017, with a particularly sharp increase seen from 2014 to 2017.

opioid, fatal drug
Laura Levine prepares to dispense drugs at Vocal NY, an organization that works with addicts, where she is the health educator and coordinator for the opioid reversal drug Narcan, in the Brooklyn borough of New York, March 15, 2019. VOA

Deaths attributed to natural and semisynthetic opioids, such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone and oxymorphone, which are prescribed as painkillers, saw a drop from 14,926 to 12,757, or 14.5 percent.

That was the steepest drop for any category of drug, though deaths linked to synthetic opioids excluding methadone (drugs like tramadol and fentanyl) continued to rise sharply, while cocaine deaths also increased slightly.

Overprescription

The U.S. opioid epidemic is rooted in decades of overprescription of addictive painkillers. The crisis is responsible for about 400,000 deaths involving prescription or illicit opioids, including high-profile victims such as pop icon Prince and rocker Tom Petty.

But there are some signs the tide is beginning to turn.

fatal drug
Bottles of several opioid based medication at a pharmacy in Portsmouth, Ohio, June 21, 2017. VOA

In recent months, federal and state authorities have taken on drug giants in court for allegedly bribing doctors to prescribe their medicines or for deceptive marketing that downplayed the risks of addiction.

ALSO READ: Researchers: The Herb kratom to Treat Pain and Opioid Addiction Not Safe for Use

The overall opioid prescribing rate peaked in 2012 at 81 prescriptions for every 100 Americans and had dropped to 58 by 2017, according to data suggesting that health care providers have become more cautious.

But the amount of opioids prescribed per person is still around three times higher than it was in 1999, according to the CDC, which uses a unit called morphine milligram equivalents (MME) to account for differences in drug type and strength. (VOA)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,773FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Comment: With The Arrival of Baiden The United States Starts a New Chapter Filled With Hope

BY FRANK F. ISLAM With the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, America is closing one of the darkest...

This Collaborative Effort For Banana Plantation Can Make The Banana Farmers of India Go Bananas!

A three-way industry-institute-Tamil Nadu government organisation-collaborative effort to increase the value-added products from the banana plantation is expected to make the banana farmers in...

Dyson Launched An AI-Driven ‘V11 Absolute Pro’ Cord-Free Vacuum Cleaner

Keeping in mind Indian households that have various types of hidden dust which includes cockroach allergens, dust mites allergens, dog allergens, mold, bacteria, and...

Twitter To Remove Blue Verification Badges From Inactive And Incomplete Accounts

Micro-blogging platform Twitter has started removing blue verification badges from inactive and incomplete accounts and will begin the new verification process for its users...

How You Feel, Look Are The Two Key Instigators To Going About Your Everyday Life: Hrithik Roshan

How you look, and feel are two key instigators to going about your daily life, says Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan. The actor has featured in...

Ayushmann Khurana Reveals Important Factors Of A Big Film

Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana has been tagged as a risk-taker who picks high-concept films that become hits at the box office, as well as...

Study: Relationship Insecurities Likely To Trigger Depression In Men

Men, take note. If you are a new father and insecure about the relationship with your partner, it may trigger depression, a new study...

CAQM In Delhi To Set Artificial Intelligence For Air Quality Improvement

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in Delhi-NCR and adjoining areas has roped in India's top technical institutions to set up a decision...

Recent Comments