CDC press release announces that from 2000 to 2014 about half a million people died in the U.S. from drug overdose.
According to study published by CDC on December 18 in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report it was reported an increase with 14 percent in the deaths related to drug overdose in the last year.
Most of the deaths related to prescription opioids are in the account of semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone. The rate of deaths involving semi-synthetic opioids increased with 9 percent (813 more deaths) from 2013 to 2014. At the same time, deaths from heroin overdose had tripled since 2010.
The states with the highest rate of deaths resulted from opioid overdose are Ohio, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New Mexico and West Virginia. The death rates are growing for people of all sexes, ethnicities and ages.
During the last 15 years the rate of abuse among prescription opioids has also raised, just as it was the case with illicit opioids like heroin. More than 60 percent of drug overdose deaths in 2014 were caused by opioids, both legal and illegal. However, the greatest increase was among synthetic opioids, which caused the death of 5,500 persons only in 2014.
Heroin killed 10,574 persons during 2015, an increase with 26 percent from 2013. People with the highest risk of using heroin are those who became dependent or who abused prescription opioids during the past year. Other risk factors are given by its high availability, its low price and its high purity.
The CDC has also released guidelines for preventing the deaths resulted from opioids overdose.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the rate of prescriptions of opioid pain relievers is four times higher than it was in 1999. Healthcare professionals are responsible to limit the prescriptions to serve only those who really need them.
More than that, people addicted to opioids should have access to treatment, including access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse the symptoms in case of an opioid overdose.
Another recommendation issued by the CDC is that public health agencies and law enforcement agencies have to work together to prevent the misuse of both prescription and illicit opioids and address the issue which threatens the public health and safety.
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