US drug overdose deaths reach new high

Curated by Paul Helmick

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  • A sad, destructive and societally challenging trend is on the upswing
  • Drug overdose deaths continue to climb despite ongoing efforts to stem the the overdose epidemic
  • According to the National Center for Health Statistics, estimates for the first nine months of 2016 were higher than the first nine months of the previous year, which had already reached an all time high of 52,404
  • Of those, more than 33,000 were attributed to opioid drugs including legal prescription painkillers as well as illicit drugs like heroin and street fentanyl
  • Another report earlier this week in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the number of drug overdoses involving opioids between 2008-2014 was likely underestimated by 24%
  • When looking at overdose deaths involving heroin, the percent of overdose deaths were underestimated by 22%
  • The toll on families, society, business and government is now and will be a prominent challenge for years to come.