US Drug Overdose Deaths at an All Time High
Deaths caused due to opioid drug overdose are at an all time high in the U.S. increasing to 14% in a singe year, the CDC reported. More than 47,000 people have died due to a overdose from these drugs last year. "These findings indicate that the opioid overdose epidemic is worsening," the CDC's Rose Rudd and colleagues wrote in their report. "The increasing number of deaths from opioid overdose is alarming," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. "The opioid epidemic is devastating American families and communities. To curb these trends and save lives, we must help prevent addiction and provide support and treatment to those who suffer from opioid use disorders," he added. "This report also shows how important it is that law enforcement intensify efforts to reduce the availability of heroin, illegal fentanyl, and other illegal opioids."
In a bid to fight the growing numbers, CDC proposed first set of new guidelines this month that includes different approaches to managing pain before administering opioid such as oxycontin or fentanyl to someone, reported NBC News. However, these guidelines do not apply to the terminally ill patients. The response so far has been negative from the patients, drug industry, doctors and other groups such as U.S Pain Foundation as well as the American Academy of Pain Management. "Those of us with chronic disabling illnesses such as lupus (which I have); RA (rheumatoid arthritis), Osteoarthritis (which I have); MS (multiple sclerosis) and all the others survive and function daily because we are able to manage our medications," one woman wrote in comments posted to the federal website, as reported by NBC News.
The deaths from drug overdose, since 2000 has increased in males and females by 137% while death from opioids has increased by 300% from the same year, said the Independent.