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CDC presents a grim picture of drug overdose in the US

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.

Lethal drug overdose rate has risen since 1999

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.

Drug overdose, a growing health concern

The scientists also noted that:

  • The death rate from drug overdose increased by about 10 percent every year from 1999 to 2006, though a slump to 3 percent yearly growth was also observed till 2013. Since 2013, the rate of growth went up by 9 percent annually.
  • The highest death rate due to drug overdose was observed among adults aged between 45 and 54 years in 2015. The scientists noticed a steep growth among adults aged between 55 and 64 years from 1999 to 2015.
  • In 2015 alone, the drug overdose death rate for white Americans was 21.1 for every 100,000 people in contrast with 12.2 for blacks and 7.7 percent for the Hispanic population.
  • Collation of data revealed highest drug overdose death rates in West Virginia, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio.
  • Other than prescription painkillers, 13 percent legal overdoses in 2015 were due to cocaine, an increase observed from 11 percent in 2010. Psychostimulant drugs, including methamphetamine, resulted in just 5 percent of such deaths in 2010, which rose to 11 percent in 2015.

Road to recovery

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.

If you or someone you love is battling with addiction, contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline for Drug and Alcohol Addiction for some good drug addiction rehabilitation centers that offer professional help and viable support system. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online with our experts for information or advice on the best drug rehab centers in your area.

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