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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Every U.S. County Increased Opioid Overdose Deaths

overdose-deaths
Prescription opioids are highly effective painkillers which, when used as prescribed for short periods of time, can be relatively safe. Unfortunately, such drugs are highly addictive and it is quite easy for people to transition from use to abuse. Once that metamorphosis occurs, it can be extremely difficult to stop using prescription opioids, and there is a heightened risk of experiencing an overdose which can be fatal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 44 people die from a prescription opioid overdose every day in the United States.

If you have been following the news regarding the rise of opioid overdose deaths throughout the country in the wake of the epidemic the United States has been facing for over a decade, then you probably wouldn’t be all that surprised to learn that practically every U.S. county has been affected, The New York Times reports. Opioid drugs were present in more than 61 percent of all overdose deaths in 2014, when 125 people were perishing every day.

What’s more, the demographics that appear to be affected the most live in some of the most rural parts of the country, which has made opioid addiction a priority campaign issue, according to the article. In New Hampshire, 326 people died from an opioid overdose in 2014.

“No group is immune to it — it is happening in our inner cities, rural and affluent communities,” said Timothy R. Rourke, the chairman of the New Hampshire Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. 

Part of the reason for heightened overdose deaths rates in rural counties and states, is the fact that access to addiction treatment programs is extremely limited, the article reports. Addicts can wait as long as a month for a bed at addiction recovery centers in certain areas. Time is of the essence when it comes to receiving treatment, not just because with each day that passes the risk of overdose is greater, but because addicts who decide to go to treatment often change their mind about if they have to wait.

“Chances of getting treatment in West Virginia is ridiculously small,” said Dr. Carl R. Sullivan III, the director of addiction services at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. “We’ve had this uptick in overdose deaths despite enormous public interest in this whole issue.” 

If you are addicted to prescription opioids and/or heroin, please contact Hope By The Sea. We can assist you in breaking the cycle of addiction and begin the journey of recovery.

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