IS THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC ENDING?
- August 12, 2018
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last several years, everyone knows that the United States is currently in the midst of an opioid epidemic that has caused untold hardship and devastation for families. Over the last several years, there have been a significant number of overdoses and deaths caused by opioid abuse and addiction. The epidemic proportions of overdoses have overwhelmed emergency rooms, hospitals, and government drug addiction agencies. The number of deaths is even overwhelming county coroner offices in some places. However, new numbers from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) seem to point to a turning point and the question is the opioid epidemic ending?
The CDC keeps track of drug overdose deaths throughout the nation. According to the 2017 numbers compiled by the CDC, even though the numbers of overdose deaths rose 10.2 percent nationwide, there were some states that actually saw a decrease in drug overdose deaths.
The state of Wyoming had the largest percentage drop in drug overdose deaths with a 31.2 percent drop. In 2016, the state of Wyoming reported 93 deaths but in 2017 that amount dropped to 64.
In the New England states, Vermont was the state with the highest percentage drop to of 5.9 percent. In 2016, Vermont had 136 opioid overdose deaths but in 2017 the state reported 128 deaths. North Dakota was also down 5 percent when comparing the years 2016 and 2017.
After having a decade of ever-increasing opioid-related deaths, Rhode Island saw its first decrease. The state reported a decrease of 3.8 percent. The last time Rhode Island had a decrease was in 2009.
Another New England state has seen a decrease in opioid overdose deaths is Massachusetts. Actually, Massachusetts has been lowering its number every year since 2014. Although the number of deaths in that state is high, 2,134 in 2017, it still represents a decline of 2.9 percent. New Mexico, Utah, and Mississippi ended up the list with decreases of 1 percent or less.
With these preliminary numbers, it is too early to tell is the opioid epidemic is ending or not. It is certainly a good sign to see the decreases though. Although, it is unknown at the present time what has caused the decreases in each state. In theory, the decrease in deaths might not mean fewer people are using and/or being addicted to drugs. It would just mean that medical professionals are becoming better at bringing people who overdose back from the brink of death. Drugs like Narcan are becoming more widespread and can help someone who has overdosed on drugs. The manufacturer has even created the drug in a nasal spray form that can more easily be administered.
Despite being in the midst of an opioid epidemic, these decreases are a good sign. Hopefully, the increase in rehabilitation treatment facilities will also help the opioid epidemic. At Asana Recovery, with a team of addiction professionals helping, a person can recover from addiction and live a life free from the scourge of drug and alcohol abuse.
The supervised detoxification and residential treatment programs at Asana Recovery are offered in a supportive, relaxing, and inspiring environment. We’re deeply committed to ensuring your long-term recovery and guiding you on your path to a healthier and happier future. There is no better time than now, and we’re always available to speak with you. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today.