Fatal heroin overdoses triple — CDC

26 February, 2017, 01:00 | Author: Joy Garcia
  • John Minchillo  AP

Heroin leads the charge, accounting for a quarter of the overdose deaths, more than triple the rate at which it killed in 2010.

The House gave unanimous first-round approval to the bill Thursday. Many people became addicted to opioids from using prescription painkillers, but as access to those drugs was tightened in response, they moved on to heroin and synthetic opioids to feed their addiction. Lakin is a physician who introduced the bill in committee.

While overdoses were up among all age groups, in 2015, adults 45-years-old to 54-years-old have the highest rate of overdose deaths.

These numbers are far higher than suicide rates, which stand at 13.4 per 100,000 people, or the rate of auto accident deaths, which is 11.1 per 100,000. Similarly, the percentage of deaths caused by fentanyl and other synthetic opioids (with the exception of methadone) climbed from 8 percent to 18 percent from 2010 to 2015. The rate increased on average by 9% per year from 1999 to 2006, by 2% per year from 2006 to 2013, and by 12% per year from 2013 to 2015.

Other opioids - both synthetic and natural - such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin) accounted for another 24 percent of overdose deaths in 2015, down from 29 percent in 2010. Perhaps not surprisingly, overdose deaths from heroin had a sharp rise.

Overdose deaths involving fentanyl and tramadol also increased, according to data from 2015 which is the latest year available.

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In this issue, Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of Brandeis University's Opioid Policy Research Center, states that this shift is only one side of the coin, as since 2010, "overdoses involving heroin has skyrocketed".

The study also shows more men than women die of drug overdose, and that such deaths are most common among people in their mid-40's to their mid-50's, and white Americans had the highest rate of drug OD death among all ethnic groups.

When looking at overdoses overall, opioid-related deaths represented the majority.

Overdose deaths hit middle-aged and white people the hardest, according to USA Today.

The US Drug Enforcement Agency, tasked with monitoring and enforcing the country's federal laws on drugs, says heroin seizures increased.

The DEA has issued a list of drugs that are fentanyl variations as they consider them as "no now accepted for medical use and a high potential for abuse". "That's going to really open up drug treatment, particularly in underserved areas", Salsitz said.

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