It might come as a surprise to many. More people die from accidental drug overdoses than those who are killed in fatal car crashes. The numbers have risen to epidemic quantities. They include both those who have overdosed on prescription medications as well as those who have abused heroin.
Just how bad is the problem? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than 47,000 people died because of drug poisoning in 2014. Of those, nearly 19,000 of the deaths were a result of opioid painkillers. More than 10,500 individuals died as a result of heroin overdoses. Pennsylvania was one of the states which experienced a significant increase in accidental drug overdoses.
Statistical research shows some other disturbing numbers. According to a national survey conducted by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, there were 27 million Americans who admitted to using some illicit drug in 2014. This number included individuals over twelve years of age. They accounted for more than 10% of the population.
Although there is an assumption that painkillers are prescribed to bring relief, a great part of the population uses opioid drugs for nonmedical reasons. This accounts for 4.3 million people who use prescription medication to feed their addiction. At the conclusion of the 2014 SAMHSA study, 435,000 individuals were presumed to use heroin.
Call for Release of Federal Government Report Regarding Opioids
Obviously, the federal government is well aware of the opioid epidemic. There are many concerns about the issues contributing to the problem. Among them are the guidelines for opioid prescription. There are special considerations for the groups involved in the recommendations.
The Senate Finance Committee went so far as to investigate the financial ties between medical associations and drug manufacturers. They are the leaders in setting up guidelines for opioid prescriptions. The government has not provided their report. Some suggest that the investigative findings should have been released a long time ago.
In fact, a recent opinion piece calls for the information to be released by United State Senators Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden. They were charged with overseeing the report. There is no indication why the documentation is being withheld from the public. It will be interesting to see the pharmaceutical and medical community’s contribution to the overdose epidemic.
Regardless of the source, it is important for those who are addicted to painkillers or heroin to seek treatment. While the government may call for increased regulation, the fact remains that people are dying from drug overdoses.
At Clearbrook, we have witnessed the devastation that opioid addiction causes for addicts and their families. Nevertheless, we have also seen the other side of it. We get to witness miracles every day.
For over 40 years, Clearbrook has treated those afflicted with the disease of addiction and alcoholism and are able to show our patients there is hope in sobriety. You do not have to be a victim of a drug overdose. Contact us today and get the help that you need.