THE IMPACT OF THE OPIOID CRISIS ON LOUISIANA
- March 31, 2019
When you consider how severe the opioid problems have become in our country, you might begin to realize why the government has referred to this issue as a public health emergency. For over 20 years, the Opioid Crisis has wreaked havoc on the United States, killing hundreds of thousands of people and turning millions more into full-blown addicts. As more people die, more shipments of illegal painkillers, like fentanyl and heroin, and prescription pills, like OxyContin, are arriving in illegal packages on our international doorstep. Although the Midwest has suffered the brunt of this emergency, we cannot ignore states in the Deep South, even if opioid problems there aren’t as bad as the ones in the eastern part of the country. For today, let’s take a closer look at Louisiana and see how the Bayou State is handling the Opioid Crisis.
Several Points below the National Average
Keep in mind that many states in the Deep South are not suffering as much as those in the Midwest, but Louisiana is still facing its horde of opioid problems. In 2016, the state Louisiana reported an incidence of 7.7 opioid overdose-related deaths per 100,000 residents (about 346 deaths in total), a few points below the U.S. national average of 13.3 fatalities per 100,000 citizens. Meanwhile, heroin-related deaths have skyrocketed from 51 in 2012 to 149 in 2016, while prescription opioid-related fatalities have risen from 19 to 89 over the same time period. Meanwhile, in 2015, Louisiana doctors wrote 4.8 million prescriptions for opioids; about 103.2 drugs per 100 patients, which is above the national rate of 70 drugs per 100 people.
Rate of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
Despite not having particularly strong opioid problems, Louisiana has still reported a steady climb in cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) over a ten-year period. From 2003 to 2013, the NAS incidence rate rose from 2.1 cases per 1,000 live births to 8.0 cases per 1,000 births. Keep in mind that the average NAS rate across 28 neighboring states has been 6.0 outbreaks per 1,000 births. Interestingly, though, Louisiana officials confirmed a large portion of NAS births occurred among women who are 25 years and older.
Outbreaks of Viruses in Louisiana
Due to conflicting issues with drugs in the state, Louisiana has also reported a massive outbreak of viral infections and sexually-transmitted diseases. Out of the 39,513 new cases of HIV documented in 2015, Louisiana recorded 1,129 new outbreaks of the virus. Meanwhile, out of the 181,871 new cases of hepatitis C reported in the U.S. in 2015, Louisiana confirmed 2,478 new cases.
Seeking Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
Opioid use disorder is easily one of the most terrifying substance use disorders on the planet, mostly because opioid addiction partially stems from a large number of drugs that are legally regulated by the federal government. For decades, our country has suffered beneath the weight of dangerous synthetics and legal painkillers, and millions of Americans have suffered from addiction throughout the 20 years the crisis has been brewing. However, you can make the right decision by taking a stand against your addiction and regaining your health and happiness.
If you are suffering from a severe case of drug addiction, or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of opioid withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.