Drug overdose has become an epidemic. The cases are rising at an alarming rate with a further increase expected in the near future. Which means that it is high time that the problem is looked into and accounted for.
The Federal Health report suggests that drug overdose-related deaths are at all time high among middle-aged women. A large chunk of the population belonging to this age group is dying due to this very cause.
Previously, the highest ever number of such deaths were reported in the Year 1999. This has increased by over 260 per cent in the last 19 years or so.
The Opioid problem
This problem has crept into the US society recently. It is not just a woman only problem. Men are also likely to become potential victims. The issue has crossed all gender boundaries and greatly alerted the entire country’s problem. To make matters worse, as highlighted earlier, a further increase in deaths is also predicted for the year 2020 onwards.
Among the numerous issues faced, USA is fighting an ongoing war with opioid and its abuse.
If you haven’t been told earlier, opioids are classified as drugs that consist of illegal substance heroin. Heroin is processed from morphine and is highly addictive.
Opioids are also found in synthetic form including Fentanyl. Generally speaking, Fentanyl is used as a pain reliever although the use in the medical field is uncommon. However, the prescription is easily available and people start using it for recreational purposes.
In other cases, it is mixed with other substances like cocaine or heroin. This makes Fentanyl even more addictive. The person feels euphoric and relieved from any pain he/she might be experiencing. There is then a tendency to use the substance more. That is when abuse takes place and person ends up overdosing in unfortunate cases.
Rise in drug overdose deaths
The Opioid overdose death is an extremely serious problem and has caused deaths in thousands. In 2018 alone, 70,000 deaths were reported. Note: the fatal cases were the ones that were registered. The figure does not include unreported cases that were never documented. Therefore drug overdose deaths are likely to be more than what the data might suggest.
Anyhow, 2018 had experienced a 10% increase since last year. If no preventive measures are adopted timely, then this figure could go even higher.
The data also reveal some importance causes for concern. In the first case scenario, most of the victims had successfully obtained a medical prescription of an Opioid drug. Regardless of the fact that doctors all over the USA have been advised to think thoroughly before prescribing. This in turn raises a question on the credibility of medical professionals in the country.
The legal way of obtaining access is then misused for recreational purpose. The problem then reaches the serious stage where the person starts abusing.
Blood samples of those who died from drug overdose were also noted. It was revealed that blood contain numerous other substances apart from Opioid.
The victim had either been consuming cocaine, heroin side by side or were mixed with the drug. In other cases, the research also found the person to be a frequent Marijuana smoker.
In either capacity, it is important for the government to comprehensively address this issue