Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Opioid deaths now top peak fatalities from guns, crashes, HIV

Opioid deaths now top peak fatalities from guns, crashes, HIV

Opioids, which include prescription painkillers along with heroin and other illegal synthetic opioid drugs, contributed 49,068 to the total number of overdose deaths, the report indicates. The monthly CDC numbers suggest that deaths might have begun leveling off by the end of the year.

More than 72,000 people died from drug overdose deaths in 2017, according to early data released Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with almost 30,000 of those deaths involving illicit fentanyl or its more powerful analogs.

That staggering sum works out to about 200 drug overdose deaths every single day, or one every eight minutes.

But while overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids rose dramatically, deaths from heroin, prescription opioid pills, and methadone fell.

Here and across the country, the rise in deadly overdoses has been driven by synthetic drugs, including fentanyl. Deaths involving natural opiates, including oxycodone and hydrocone seem to have plateaued.

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In addition to the three New England states, overdose deaths fell in Wyoming (minus 33 percent), Utah (minus 12 percent), Oklahoma (minus 9 percent), Montana (minus 8 percent), South Dakota (minus 8 percent), Hawaii (minus 5 percent), Kansas (minus 2 percent), MS (minus 2 percent), New Mexico (minus 2 percent) and North Dakota (minus 1 percent).

"I have heard reports by doctors from Yale New Haven Hospital that some of the testing that they were able to perform did have cases that had fentanyl", Campbell said.

Click this link and scroll to the bottom of the page to see how drug overdose deaths were reported by the state's chief medical examiner in your town, based on residence of the deceased. Patrick Kennedy, a member of the task force the administration convened to tackle the epidemic, criticized Trump for being "all talk and no follow-through" on opioids late previous year. "But just like the opioid medications used in humans, these drugs have potentially serious risks, not just for the animal patients, but also because of their potential to lead to addiction, abuse and overdose in humans who may divert them for their own use", Gottlieb said in a statement. Although samples the city sent to the Drug Enforcement Administration didn't come back laced with other substances, officials said testing done at Yale New Haven Hospital did find traces of fentanyl.

"Because it's a drug epidemic as opposed to an infectious disease epidemic like Zika, the response is slower", said Dan Ciccarone, a professor of family and community medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies heroin markets.

Ito said Utah's education and tracking programs have become national models.

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