According To Preliminary Figures, The Number Of Overdose Deaths In The US Has Increased And Reached A New Record High

The Number Of Overdose Deaths In The US Has Increased And Reached A New Record High | The Lifesciences Magazine

New data from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention shows that drug overdose deaths in the US reached yet another record level this spring, and that 2023 is on course to be yet another tragic year due to the drug pandemic. The new figures show that more than 111,000 people overdosed on drugs in the year that ended in April.

Deaths started to increase in December after the March 2022 record was first surpassed. When compared to the rapid surge during the early years of the Covid-19 epidemic, the rate of increase is substantially slower than it has been in subsequent years.

However, the most recent data available through April indicates that compared to the previous year, nearly a thousand more lives were lost in the previous 12 months. In comparison to the 12-month period ending March 2022, which saw 110,394 deaths, the 12-month period ending April 2023 saw 111,355 overdose deaths.

Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health, said: “I was expecting that overdose deaths would go down after the big jump during the Covid pandemic, as we resume our everyday life.”

According to her, the strong pressures of an exceptional period can be seen in the 30% increase in overdose deaths between 2019 and 2020 and the subsequent 15% increase between 2020 and 2021. Therefore, Volkow remarked, “I find it really alarming that these numbers remain so high.

Overdose deaths in the U.S. reached record levels

While national trends indicate only modest increases, overdose deaths continue to significantly climb in certain regions of the country, particularly the West.

According to the CDC’s preliminary data, fentanyl and other synthetic opioids cause close to 70% of overdose deaths. Most of the total rise in mortality were caused by an increase in overdoses involving these substances. nearly a third of fatalities involved psychostimulants, and nearly a quarter involved cocaine.

“Fentanyl is everywhere,” stated Volkow. It’s not just covered up as heroin; cocaine and methamphetamine also include it.

The first naloxone product sold without a prescription was given the go-ahead by the US Food and Drug Administration in March. The most recent overdose fatality statistics should, in theory, cover the first month following that approval; nevertheless, the drug has only recently begun to be sold in stores and online. And according to experts, increasing access to and utilisation of opioid use disorder treatments is the key to reverse the trends in overdose deaths. Caleb Banta-Green, a research professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, stated that naloxone “is necessary but completely inadequate.”

We need everyone to comprehend that opioid use disorder is a medical problem that can be managed, he said. The drugs methadone and buprenorphine are the evidence-based treatments; they can assist long-term rehabilitation and cut mortality by more than 50%.

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