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 opioid epidemic

The opioid epidemic or opioid crisis is the rapid increase in the use of prescription and non-prescription opioid drugs in the United States and Canada beginning in the late 1990s and continuing throughout the first two decades of the 2000s. Opioids are a diverse class of moderately strong painkillers, including oxycodone (commonly sold under the trade names OxyContin and Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and a very strong painkiller, fentanyl, which is synthesized to resemble other opiates such as opium-derived morphine and heroin. The potency and availability of these substances, despite their high risk of addiction and overdose, have made them popular both as formal medical treatments and as recreational drugs. Due to their sedative effects on the part of the brain which regulates breathing, opioids in high doses present the potential for respiratory depression, and may cause respiratory failure and death.


According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, "overdose deaths, particularly from prescription drugs and heroin, have reached epidemic levels.":iii Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths in 2016 involved prescription opioids. From 1999 to 2008, overdose death rates, sales, and substance abuse treatment admissions related to opioid pain relievers all increased substantially. By 2015, annual overdose deaths from heroin alone surpassed deaths from both car accidents and guns, with other opioid overdose deaths also on the rise.


Drug overdoses have since become the leading cause of death of Americans under 50, with two-thirds of those deaths from opioids. In 2016, the crisis decreased overall life expectancy of Americans for the second consecutive year. Overall life expectancy fell from 78.7 to 78.6 years. Men were disproportionately more affected due to higher overdose death rates, with life expectancy declining from 76.3 to 76.1 years. Women's life expectancy remained stable at 81.1 years.


In 2016, over 64,000 Americans died from overdoses, 21 percent more than the almost 53,000 in 2015. By comparison, the figure was 16,000 in 2010, and 4,000 in 1999. While death rates varied by state, public health experts estimate that nationwide over 500,000 people could die from the epidemic over the next 10 years. In Canada, half of the overdoses were accidental, while a third were intentional. The remainder were unknown. Many of the deaths are from an extremely potent opioid, fentanyl, which is trafficked from Mexico. The epidemic cost the United States an estimated $504 billion in 2015.


CDC director Thomas Frieden said that "America is awash in opioids; urgent action is critical." The crisis has changed moral, social, and cultural resistance to street drug alternatives such as heroin. In March 2017, Larry Hogan, the governor of Maryland, declared a state of emergency to combat the opioid epidemic, and in July 2017 opioid addiction was cited as the "FDA's biggest crisis". On October 26, 2017, President Donald Trump concurred with his Commission's report and declared the country's opioid crisis a "public health emergency".

overdose deaths involving opioids, united states, 2000-2015
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updated Thu. April 19, 2018

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The state will receive more than $2 million this year to combat the opioid abuse epidemic, a crisis that in 2017 resulted in the record number of overdose deaths in Maine. Maine Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King,an independent made a joint announcement Wednesday evening that ...
"What the bill does is really try to blow up the on-ramp of the opioid epidemic," Yarbro said. But he said said lawmakers could do more to address treatment and to make sure there were no "winners and losers" in the legislation. Yarbro sponsored two amendments, one that would have the state show ...

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- New findings out this week show more organs are available for transplant in the U.S. because of the opioid epidemic. This is proving true in Western Pennsylvania. While the epidemic is certainly both tragic and problematic, something many may not realize is how those ...
This legislation would amount to a significant infusion of new federal dollars aimed at curbing the opioid crisis, which is leading to thousands of deaths each year. Warren and Cummings argue the opioid crisis needs to be treated like the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The pair modeled their legislation after ...
This is the fifth opioid-related lawsuit filed by Beshear, who is a Democrat and the son of former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. Janssen has also been sued for alleged deceptive marketing of opioids by officials in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries
HARTFORD -- The opioid epidemic is ravaging communities across the nation including many in Connecticut. However, some local health officials believe far more people may be suffering from opioid addiction than the state actually reports. This could mean the opioid crises is far worse than ...

There are many different types of costs associated with the opioid epidemic: including emergency response, health care, criminal justice, rehabilitation and lost productivity. It's no wonder the total estimated burden from the epidemic is enormous. Health care research firm Altarum put the figure at $1 ... opioid
The bipartisan bill comes as the death toll from prescription opioid addiction continues to skyrocket. In 2016, over 42,200 Americans died from an opioids overdose, according to the latest CDC data -- five times higher than in 1999. The epidemic has affected every state in the country, making the issue a ...
In Baltimore, we spend a lot of time training people to use naloxone, the antidote medication that reverses an opioid overdose. At these trainings, we talk about the opioid epidemic -- what caused it and how it escalated so quickly. These explanations are often unnecessary. Our city's residents know ...
What this bill proposes is a mistake. Fentanyl is a deadly drug and we must pursue those responsible for its manufacture and distribution in our country. But when we expanded penalties in the 1980s, it did nothing to stem the crack epidemic. Instead, we locked up thousands of people for low-level sale ...

NIH says dozens of drug makers interested in partnering to develop drugs to address opioid epidemic ... the director of the National Institutes of Health, said Tuesday that the agency is nearing a formal announcement of a public-private partnership aimed at funding research to help address the opioid crisis.
The failure of the punitive policies is one reason why drug policy experts have emphasized other approaches to resolving the opioid epidemic ... like methadone and buprenorphine), more harm reduction (such as better access to the opioid overdose antidote naloxone), fewer painkiller prescriptions (while ...
Mr. Trump gave a rambling speech on opioids on Monday in which he offered few details about how he would increase access to substance abuse treatment and prevention to help the millions of Americans suffering from this disease. Some 64,000 people in the United States died of drug overdoses in ...
Rick Scott on Monday signed Florida's opioid legislation into law, a move seen by many as a good first step in combating a crisis that has claimed at least 16 lives a day in the Sunshine State. "What it does take is a pretty comprehensive approach to addressing the epidemic," said Mark Fontaine, Executive ...
Congress has allocated $6 billion over the next two years for opioid-related spending. The White House last year estimated the cost of the opioid epidemic at a whopping $500 billion -- a figure that was more than six times higher than the previous estimate of $78.5 billion. "$6 billion is a drop in the bucket," ...
This week, Donald Trump will unveil his plan for combating the opioid epidemic. Early reports suggest it will include a few worthwhile (but small-bore) efforts to increase access to addiction treatment, along with a (thoroughly worthless) proposal to expand the death penalty to certain drug dealers. But all ...
Donald Trump has declared the country's opioid epidemic a national emergency, but he seems determined to ignore experts advice to treat drug addiction ... and led to a rise in other epidemics, such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS, since criminalizing drug possession favored habits such as reusing syringes.


 

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    opioids

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opioids:

opioid epidemic