Public Health Emergency

Drug overdose deaths continue to be a leading cause of death throughout the United States, especially opioid related overdoses. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, Americans are dying at the rate of approximately 115 deaths per day from an opioid overdose. This is 5 times higher than the rate in 1999. How has this drug become more regulated yet has become more of a crisis than it was 20 years ago?

While we are finally seeing a change in behavior of the acceptance and treatment of opioids, the crisis is still adamant. Just last year the epidemic was declared a public health of emergency because it was destroying so many lives. What has started out as a way to ease unbearable pain has become an unbreakable addiction. There has also been a recent spike in the use of fentanyl, a lethal drug that is found in opioids.

Thankfully the public is becoming more aware of the consequences of drug abuse and there has been a rapid increase in the awareness of the dangers of opioids. Nonetheless an expansion in the addiction-treatment infrastructure is also becoming prevalent in order to help those combating addiction.

One comment

  • Susan Pearce

    Sociologically speaking, this raises so many questions about the effects on your generation (those of you in the traditional college-aged category). Many young people already have left the earth far too soon. What does it mean for reining in control of the pharmaceutical industry that can be haphazard about the impact of drugs on people’s health? It is a situation where legitimate drug use leads to addiction of illegitimate drug use. It isn’t necessarily connected to the party scene.

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