According to the latest CDC report, overdose deaths in the country caused by synthetic opioids increased by 72 percent since 2014. Furthermore, the overdose deaths have tripled between 1999 and 2014.
Another recent CDC survey has revealed that the heroin overdoses have killed 5,000 people since 2014, with a new negative record of over 30,000 deaths. Other public health concerns, besides substance abuse, include rising suicides, lower life expectancy, obesity, and heart disease just to name a few.
Although the CDC underlines that active measures must be taken immediately to address this issue, the government has done nothing to prevent opioid abuse and reduce overdose deaths until now.
Based on the CDC report, a spike in overdose deaths has been recorded in almost every US state due to prescription painkillers and heroin abuse. According to the statistics, 52,000 people died in 2015 after taking an overdose, and roughly 66 percent of the victims used illegal or prescription opioids.
The experts say that the most widely spread and dangerous synthetic opioids are tramadol and fentanyl. The doctors explain that fentanyl is minimum fifty to 100 times more potent than morphine.
The investigators have established that tramadol overdoses usually involve other drugs, alcohol included. In 2015, 9,580 people died after taking synthetic opioids, without including the overdose deaths related to methadone.
Also, Vicodin and Oxycontin killed 17,536 people, meaning a four percent increase. The specialists added that over the past six years, heroin overdose deaths quadrupled. Last year, more Americans were killed by heroin overdoses (12,989) than by gun violence (12,979).
In 2014, a 90.9 percent increase was recorded in men who died due to synthetic opioids, while the most affected were the younger generations. More precisely, there was a 91.7 increase in men between 15 and 24 years, a 94.1 percent increase in those between 25 and 34, and an 80.6 percent increase in men between 35 and 44.
Regarding women, the number of overdose deaths due to synthetic opioids rose by 46.2 percent last year, with the highest increase of 116.7 percent among those between 15 and 24 years old.
The CDC report also reveals that the overdose deaths have increased by 50 percent in Hispanics, 75 percent in whites, and 95 percent in blacks. The states who took the hardest hit were West Virginia, Ohio, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.