Drug overdose is an increasing public health burden in the U.S., with 63,600 deaths reported in 2016, 42,249 of which were attributed to opioids. The only opioid drug that saw an overdose mortality decrease in 2016 was methadone. Experts blame much of the increase on synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, which is about 50 times more powerful than heroin.
In spite of the attention being given to the dangers and risks associated with addictive pain medications, more and more people are dying from overdoses. All kinds of drug overdoses are up, but painkillers are the main culprit. More people are abusing and dying from pain medications than from illegal street drugs.
Of the 95 million emergency room visits estimated that occurred in 2007, 12 million of them were attributed to a mental disorder, substance abuse condition, or both. According to a new statistical report from Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), one in eight visits by adults to hospital emergency departments was related to the diagnosis of mental health or substance abuse condition (MHSA), even though one in three American adults has suffered from a mental or substance abuse disorder within the past 12 months.
A new study looks at the risk of overdose in patients who have been prescribed opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin for chronic non-cancer pain, and discovered a strong link between prescription opioid use and overdose.
Drug-related deaths now outnumber those from motor vehicle accidents in a growing number of states, according to new government data that highlight a shift in the top cause of deaths after disease and illness.