The United States is yet to win its battle against drugs since an increasing percentage of the population is succumbing to the menace. Consequently, casualties due to overdoses are also rising. People may overdose on drugs for many reasons. Some may misuse drugs as a means of self-medication to get rid of the demons in their mind while there are others who develop an increased tolerance to them because they become dependent on them.
A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated how episodes of drug overdoses continued to rise in 2015. The study, titled “Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2015,” explains how the threat of death from drug overdoses has risen manifold in the past few years. The details, published in February 2017, used the data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to underscore the recent trends in drug overdoses apart from highlighting the areas in the U.S. affected and the kinds of drugs involved.
The drug crisis gripping the U.S. is caused not just by prescription medications but also by other fatal substances like heroin and fentanyl. As per figures published by the CDC, the lethal drug overdose rate has risen by more than 2.5 times since 1999.
The drug overdose cases increased due to the rise in rates of use of various illicit substances. The researchers observed that in 2010, heroin overdose was responsible for only 8 percent deaths but this number increased to 25 percent in 2015.
A steep rise was observed in overdose death rate involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, barring methadone. Overdose deaths by fentanyl and synthetic opioids went up from 8 percent to 18 percent during 2010-2015.
The report could not underscore the cause-and-effect relationship of the shifts in drug overdoses. The authors of the study suggested that because many people had got hooked to opioids due to rampant abuse of prescription medicines, federal rules made those drugs less accessible. This resulted in people choosing to abuse heroin and other synthetic opioids to fuel their addictive habits.
The scientists also noted that:
There can be various reasons for drug abuse. Despite rules being formulated at the federal level, there has not been much improvement in the drug abuse situation in the country.
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