In the last five years, overdose on opioid drugs has increased 33%, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Though the general increase is 33%, some states, like New Hampshire, have seen increases of 191%. Other high ranking states included Connecticut, Ohio, North Dakota, Massachusetts, and Maine.
Opioid drugs include prescription painkillers, heroin, and synthetic opioids. Namely, drugs like Oxycontin, Heroin, and Fentanyl. 2016 saw some of the worst influx of opioid drug abuse with people overdosing on other synthetic opioids like Carfentanil, which is an animal tranquilizer.
2016 also saw a tragic number of opioid overdose deaths. NY Daily News reports that more than 52,000 people died from drug overdoses last year in America. Almost two-thirds of those people overdosed on prescription opioid painkillers or illegal opioid drugs like heroin. For the synthetic opioid drugs like Fentanyl, which saw a rise in popularity in 2016, the overdose death count rose 73%. That’s about 9,580 deaths due to synthetic opioids alone. Prescription opioid drugs had the highest overdose death rate, yet with the smallest increase overall. Popular opioid prescription painkillers like Oxycontin and Vicodin took the lives of 17,536 people. Though the increase is only 4%, the ongoing cost of opioid prescriptions continues to be detrimental.
For emphasis, the website reports, compared to the 52,000 lives lost from opioid overdose, 37,757 died in car crashes and 36,252 died from gun related deaths. Combined, that is just over 20,000 people more than those who died from drug overdose– less than either one category.
The Rise Of Synthetic Opioids
Most concerning is the steep increase of overdose deaths due to synthetic opioids. Synthetic opioids were created for chronic pain patients or traumatic surgery patients who did not tolerate regular morphine based opioids. In need of an opioid pain reliever, synthetics were made. However, many of the synthetic opioids released this year were never intended to release. Pharmaceutical companies found them to be dangerously strong and never proceeded to develop the substances. Foreign markets, primarily China, got hold of these chemical substances and started producing them. Synthetic drugs are cheaper and can act as fillers for other drugs- like actual heroin. Powerful, potent, and cheap, synthetics took over the market and took lives.
Avalon By The Sea is committed to providing quality rehabilitation treatment to those suffering from opioid addiction. Though the challenge is daunting, recovery is possible. Our residential treatment programs focus on healing mind, body, and spirit, for total transformation for a better life. For a private consultation or more information on how we can help you or a loved one with opioid use disorder, call 1 888-958-7511.