In what continues to be an epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction problems throughout the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released statistics showing that more than 60% of overdose deaths are opioid-related. These include synthetic opiates such as prescription painkillers as well as heroin.
The number of heroin-related deaths increased dramatically from 2013 to 2014, claiming over 10,000 lives. Overall, the CDC reports that there was record number of overdose deaths, more than 47,000 in all.
The report includes some recommendations for curbing this epidemic, such as a heavy reduction in the number of opiate prescriptions being given out by doctors. Getting a handle on safer prescribing patterns will help limit the number of people unnecessarily being put on these addictive painkillers. Researchers have demonstrated that there are often more effective ways of treating many common aches and pains that are much safer than prescribing narcotics.
Another recommendation is to continue providing naloxone to first-responders – and even consumers – to help reverse an opioid overdose in emergency situations. Although several states in the Northeast have been making strides in this area, it really should be more of a national effort.
Of course two important factors are to also increase treatment and prevention efforts. We continue to see miraculous results at Genesis House for people recovering from an opiate addiction. If you or someone you love is in need of help, contact us today to find out more about our treatment options.