December 21, 2017 – A new report from the U.S. government confirms what addiction experts have feared: 2016 was the most lethal year yet of the drug epidemic. The revelation signifies that we must adequately address the crisis and help those struggling with the disease of addiction to treatment.
According to CNN, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this week the numbers that show 42,249 deaths due to drug overdose occurred last year. That’s more than the 41,070 people who died from breast cancer in 2016.
Approximately 66% of the deaths involved opioids, but researchers claim that the increase was driven by synthetic opioids like fentanyl and tramadol. In October, the Trump Administration declared the opioid crisis as a public health emergency, while a special commission urged for more resources to be dedicated to the epidemic.
Provisional data for 2017 from the CDC show no signs of the epidemic abating, with an estimate of more than 66,000 overdose deaths for the year. “Based on what we’re seeing, it doesn’t look like it’s getting any better,” said Bob Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the National Center for Health Statistics.
He said the data for this year were still incomplete because of the time it takes to conduct death and toxicology investigations. However, Anderson says, the 2017 estimates are alarming. “The fact that the data is incomplete and they represent an increase is concerning,” he said.
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