An astonishing new report shows that drug overdoses have been climbing to dizzying heights in 14 states.
There’s some very bad news in the fight against drug abuse: overdose deaths are on the rise, big time.
Drug overdose deaths jumped significantly in 14 states last year: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to an Associated Press report.
This is according to new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released the overall numbers last week. Overdose deaths were up overall in the nation, rising above 47,000, a seven percent increase over last year. It’s also the most drug overdoses reported in the United States since 1970.
Heroin, cocaine, painkillers, and sedatives are the most common drug used in an overdose death.
The highest overdose death rates were seen in the states of Kentucky, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, and West Virginia, and West Virginia led all states with an overdose rate of 35.5 per 100,000 compared to a national average of 15 per 100,000.
“The United States is experiencing an epidemic of drug overdose (poisoning) deaths,” the CDC said in a statement. “Since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (opioid pain relievers and heroin). CDC analyzed recent multiple cause-of-death mortality data to examine current trends and characteristics of drug overdose deaths, including the types of opioids associated with drug overdose deaths.”
Because it is the most populous state, California led the way with the most overdose deaths over all with 4,500, with Ohio coming in second at 2,700.
The CDC has focused its efforts on reducing overdose deaths by attempting to limit overdoses from legally obtained drugs, like painkillers. They are urging family doctors to be careful about who they give painkiller prescriptions to for chronic pain.