The number of drug overdoses resulting in fatalities continues to reach new highs in America. This incredibly unsettling epidemic has swept the country, affecting nearly every area coast to coast. Official numbers for 2014 (the latest statistical compilation available) indicated that more than 47,000 people died in the United States that year as a result of drug overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This equates to about 125 people losing their lives each day, which is an increase of 66% since 2003. The epidemic appears to be worsening at a faster rate in more rural areas compared to larger cities, and opioids are connected to more than 60% of the overdoses. These include heroin and prescription narcotics. This can pose an additional problem in that there are considerably fewer beds available for addiction treatment programs in rural areas, prompting more people to have to look outside of their areas for rehabilitation help.
In a recent article in the New York Times, West Virginia School of Medicine director of addiction services Dr. Carl Sullivan exclaimed, “In the mid-1990s, there was a social movement that said it was unacceptable for patients to have chronic pain, and the pharmaceutical industry pushed the notion that opioids were safe.” He was referencing the large number of work-related injuries in the Appalachian region that had many people wind up on prescription painkillers.
Despite the major warning signs popping up everywhere regarding the rising death rates, people all over the country are still popping pills with wild abandon, recklessly steering themselves toward dependency. If you know of someone who has a problem with painkillers or any other type of drug, the time to act is now. Contact us to learn more about effective intervention and treatment practices.