Published: Mon, February 27, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Fatal drug overdoses in United States on the rise, CDC says

Fatal drug overdoses in United States on the rise, CDC says

Heroin-related deaths in the U.S. skyrocketed in the span of five years, amounting to a quarter of all overdose deaths by 2015, according to new federal data, presenting another grim snapshot of America's opioid epidemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released its latest report on Friday, the most recent tragic increase follows a pattern that's been ongoing since 1999. In 2010, these drugs only represented 8% of overdose cases in America, while in 2015, they indicated a rise to 18% of overdose deaths.

The rate of deadly drug overdoses has now overtaken suicide and vehicle accidents in 2015 as a leading cause of death, the report continues, ABC News reports.

Previous figures revealed by CDC also indicate that the total number of deaths by opioid overdoses increased four times.

Heroin caused more drug overdoses than any other drug.

Beyond opioids, cocaine was responsible for 13 percent of fatal overdoses in 2015, up from 11 percent in 2010.

Overdose deaths increased for all age groups, but rose the most among those 55 to 64, the study said. The information indicated that 1 out of 4 drug overdoses which were registered in 2015 were all related to heroin.

The numbers show overdose deaths afflict middle-aged adults and white people the most.

In 2015, overdoses killed 16.3 people per 100,000, up from 6.1 per 100,000 in 1999, according to the CDC. In 2010, opioid-related drug overdoses deaths only represented 8 percent of registered cases.

"It's that it's not just heroin anymore between the fentanyl [and] of the synthetic variants including carfentanil" an elephant tranquilizer, said Slovis.

"You are 40 times more likely to use heroin if you stated with opioid painkillers", Hamburg said. In Arizona, a similar law limits prescriptions to seven days.

The DEA has issued a list of drugs that are fentanyl variations as they consider them as "no now accepted for medical use and a high potential for abuse". "We need to improve access to treatment and remove barriers", she said. This money was also oriented to the expansion of a drug called buprenorphine, which is use to treat opioid addiction.

When Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act past year, it also dedicated $1 billion toward fighting the epidemic, including expanding buprenorphine treatment, a medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependency.

44 percent of patients undergoing buprenorphine treatment are also receiving opioid prescriptions, as 67 percent of patients that already underwent the treatment are also acquiring the drugs.

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