THURSDAY, March 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) – Drug overdose deaths are mounting in the United States, particularly as a result of the opioid epidemic and the emergence of potentially potent synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, a new government report shows.
The number of overdose deaths rose 21.5 percent in 2016, a much higher peak than the 11.4 percent a year earlier, according to researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"The problem is not only getting worse" It's getting worse, "said Emily Feinstein, vice president of the National Center for Addiction and Drug Abuse.
" What happens in our country is shameful. Addiction is an avoidable and treatable disease. We know what to do, but we do not. We're doing half-measures and expect better results, "added Feinstein, who was not involved. The new study
overdose drugs killed nearly 64,000 Americans in 201
Current increases in overdose deaths have been fueled by a continued increase in deaths from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, which are 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, CDC scientists said. [Infacttheoverdosedeathsinsyntheticopioidsmorethandoubledbetween2015and2000in2016theresearchersfound
In What Was One of the First High-Level Overdose Deaths with Fentanyl, a Toxicology Report from the Associated Press this week showed that musical symbol Prince had an "extraordinarily high" Concentration of fentanyl in his body when he died. Prince was 57 when he overdosed on April 21, 2016 alone in his Paisley Park estate.
Drug traffickers often cut heroin with the less expensive fentanyl, and unsuspecting users risk an overdose due to the potentially fatal potency of the synthetic opioid, said Dr Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City
. Many people are unaware that they are risking their lives if they think they are simply buying heroin to support their ongoing drug prescription, "said Smatter. "People who use heroin should realize that fentanyl may be a potential contaminant that significantly increases the potential for overdose and death."
The increase in overdose deaths spanned all groups of Americans – men and women, all age groups of races and ethnicities, and everywhere from rural communities to metropolitan centers.
"No territory in the United States is exempted from this epidemic," said CDC chief deputy director. Anne Schuchat in a CDC statement. "We all know a friend, a family member or a loved one who has been devastated by opioids."
However, overdose deaths varied between states, with the northeastern states carrying the brunt of fentanyl-related deaths
Hampshire (30.3 deaths per 100,000 people), West Virginia (26.3 / 100,000) and Massachusetts (23.5 / 100,000) had the highest synthetic opioid death rates. Overall, death rates from synthetic opioids increased in 20 US states and in Washington DC, with the number of deaths doubling from 2015 to 2016, according to the study.
The death rates of other opioids also increased nationwide, including prescription opioids (10.6 percent)) and heroin (19.5 percent), the researchers reported.
The increase in overdose death rates for cocaine and stimulants (such as methamphetamine) also increased by just over 52 percent and 33 percent, respectively.
The results were published in March 30 in the CDCs Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report .
Smatterer said that a deadly drug trend with a product known as Gray Death is worrying.
Gray Death often contains a different mix of heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil (an elephant tranquilizer 100 times stronger than fentanyl), and another potent synthetic opioid called U-47700, said Smatter.
"Gray Death actually looks like c oncrete, varying in consistency from a fine powder to a rocky or chunky look," said Smatter. "The reason this brew is so attractive is its price, $ 10 to $ 20, compared to the cost of an oxycodone or hydrocodone tablet, which can cost $ 25 to $ 40 on the road."
To prevent these deaths, there must be improved access to naloxone (Narcan), the life-saving medication for overdose, said Drs. Sandeep Kapoor. He is director of the SBIRT (Screening, Short Intervention and Therapy Recommendation) for Northwell Health at New Hyde Park, New York.
"We encourage that if a patient is to receive opioids, we should administer naloxone together, supported by English: bio-pro.de/en/region/stern/magazine/…3/index.html As Feinstein said, the emphasis will be on the treatment of addiction as a disease, including better addiction and addiction overdosage for emergency physicians and hospitals, improved reimbursement of addiction treatment by insurers and better guidance from the government.
"Hospitals do not even have Protocols to know what to do if someone is in opioid withdrawal or someone survives overdose, "Feinstein said." That's shameful. "
The US Department of State for health and social services has more to report on the opioid epidemic.
SOURCES: Emily Feinstein, JD, vice president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse; Obert Glatter, M.D., Emergency Doctor, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Sandeep Kapoor, M.D., Director, SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Recommendation for Treatment), Northwell Health, New Hyde Park, N.Y .; U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Press Release, March 29, 2018; March 30, 2018, Weekly report on morbidity and mortality