Nearly 50,000 Americans lost their lives to substance abuse in 2014, which is double the number recorded in 2000. In fact, the number of Americans who died of fatal drug overdoses was more than the number of deaths in road accidents in the country, according to a recent report by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC).
Five U.S. states, including West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio, reported the highest number of deaths due to drug overdose.
Deaths attributed to drug overdose
The CDC report also revealed that more than six out of 10 drug overdose deaths were due to addictive drugs, including heroin and prescription painkillers. In a statement to usnews.com, CDC Director Dr Tom Frieden said, “The increasing number of deaths from opioid overdose is alarming. The opioid epidemic is devastating American families and communities. To curb these trends and save lives, we must help prevent addiction and provide support and treatment to those who suffer from opioid use disorders.”
In the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, researchers state that Oxycodone, which includes brand-name drug OxyContin, and hydrocodone, which includes brand-name drug Vicodin, continue to be among the most commonly prescribed narcotic painkillers and are responsible for more overdose deaths than any other narcotic. Besides, there has been a spike in the number of deaths caused by overdose of heroin.
Is America losing the war against drugs?
The American government is busy arresting drug peddlers and smugglers, implementing laws to curb drug abuse, setting up rehabilitation centers in all cities, focusing on research and issuing prohibitory decrees in its attempt to wipe the drug slate clean. But all efforts of the government seem to be failing as the country makes strenuous and conscious effort to dispel the stigma surrounding substance abuse.
Understanding the truth behind drug addiction
To win the struggle against drug addiction, it is important to understand the circumstances that force a person to turn towards narcotic needs. Why do people take drugs? What is it that they lack? What drugs are easily available? These are some of the questions that need to be answered as Americans fight a battle against the risk factors associated with drugs.
Currently, the government is engaged in making strategies for prevention of illicit drug use and addiction, making available treatment facilities for the affected people, countering drug production and trafficking within the territory of its state, administering and executing new laws to curb drug flows across its borders and creating alternative livelihoods for the affected people.
Easy availability of drugs
The overdose epidemic in the past years was mostly due to prescription painkiller overdoses apart from a recent rise in heroin overdose. The CDC found that drug addicts usually move to heroin from prescription drugs due to lower price and easy availability. Frieden said, “The CDC report also shows how important it is that law enforcement intensifies efforts to reduce the availability of heroin, illegal fentanyl and other illegal opioids.”
Way to recovery
It is necessary to focus on the needs of the victims of drug abuse. Drug addicts usually end up feeling lonely, empty and irritated during their recovery period. The treatment to de-addiction lies in understanding the addiction. Sovereign Health Group offers detoxification treatment for substance abuse, including narcotic abuse. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call 855-683-9756 for more information.