Drug Overdose Deaths Rise Across America and Is Now Considered an Epidemic
Drug overdoses are becoming a common news topic, which some people are getting desensitized to. It seems like everyday you hear of at least 5 people overdosing on some type of drug and unfortunately dying. Drug overdose deaths rise across America and the most surprising fact is that nearly 52 percent of the drug overdose deaths were due to prescription drugs. This may come as a surprise to most people, but it is true.
There are certain stigmas that go along with drug overdoes deaths and many people assume that they die from heroin, cocaine, or some other form of hard drugs, but that is not the case. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also known as the CDC, has declared prescription drug abuse an epidemic in the United States. This epidemic has caused all states except Missouri to have drug monitoring programs, in hopes that this process will slow down the rate of drug overdose deaths.
In 2013, 44,000 people died from drug overdoses across America. This staggering number is more than double the amount of people that died from a drug overdose in 1999. Trust for Americaâ€™s Health is a nonprofit group that has completed various studies on this epidemic. They have also found that the number of drug overdose deaths increased in 26 states over 4 years, while drug overdoses have decreased in 6 states. We are talking about over a 50% increase across the country.
West Virginia was number in the highest amount of drug overdose deaths. West Virginia had 33.5 fatalities for every 100,000 people living in the state. On the other side of the spectrum, North Dakota had the lowest amount of deaths from drug overdoses, with only 2.6 deaths per 100,000 people living in the state. Is this statistic based on the environment or accessibility to the drugs? You have to wonder why certain areas take to the behaviors they are known for.
Many states are implementing a plan to help reverse the staggering number of deaths. Many states have increased the availability of naloxone. Naloxone is a drug that reverses the effects of an overdose caused by opioids, like Vicodin and street drugs like heroin. While naloxone is still fairly new to the scene and has helped many people, it is still too soon to see just how many people have been saved. In a 2010 review of 188 communities, they found that naloxone helped to save more than 10,000 people from overdoses. Obviously the process is helping, but it will be interesting to see how many lives are saved across the country and how much of the live saving drug is being administered. Considering that drug overdose deaths surpassed motor vehicle related deaths in 36 states, this epidemic definitely needs to be one of the main areas that need immediate attention and help. Hopefully naloxone will be able to get this epidemic under control.