Prescription opioids are still a major concern in the United States, but heroin and fentanyl have been in the spotlight a lot of late. And for good reason. The CDC found that prescription opioid deaths have leveled off relatively speaking, but heroin and fentanyl deaths continue to rise sharply, The Washington Post reports. In 2015, opioid overdoses took the lives of more than 30,000 Americans. There were 33,091 opioid overdose deaths in 2015, compared to 28,647 the year before. CDC data indicates that:
- Heroin overdose deaths rose to 12,990 in 2015, a 23 percent spike.
- Synthetic opioid overdose deaths rose to 9,580 in 2015, a 73 percent increase.
- Prescription opioid overdose deaths showed a slight increase to 17,536, a 4 percent hike.
“The prescription opioid and heroin epidemic continues to devastate communities and families across the country—in large part because too many people still do not get effective substance use disorder treatment,” said Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy. “That is why the President has called since February for $1 billion in new funding to expand access to treatment. This week Congress finally acted on the President's request. The Administration will work to get this new funding out to States as quickly as possible to make sure that every American who wants treatment for an opioid use disorder is able to get it.”