Drug overdose in the US exceeded 107,000 last year, another record

Drug policy experts argue that the administration should use the same urgency to stop opioid death as it did in response to Covid-19.

“We have to learn to walk and chew gum at the same time,” said Jerome Adams, a former U.S. general surgeon and member of the Center for Bipolar Policy’s opioid crisis working group. “Covid is not going to disappear.”

Overdose mortality from all drugs increased by 15 percent in 2020, when approximately 93,655 people died.

Mortality from opioids increased from 70,029 in 2020 to 80,816 in 2021, while drugs including synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, psychostimulants, and cocaine also increased during the year.

“The pandemic has really taken the lives of so many people, especially those who are already living on the brink,” said Maritsa Perez, director of national affairs at the Narcotics Alliance. “People lost their jobs, they were isolated. “These are all factors that increase problem drug use.”

This has hurt black, Native American and Hispanic communities the most. From 2019 to 2021, overdose mortality among blacks and Indian Americans increased by 81 percent. April Report On the crisis of the center of bipartisan politics and 65 per cent among Spanish individuals. By comparison, the death rate among white Americans increased by 40 percent over the same period.

One silver line found in the temporary data: the death toll will slow significantly; Mortality increased by 30 percent from 2019 to 2020, compared to 15 percent last year.

The Biden administration released a new one last month National Strategy for Drug ControlWhich focused on drug treatment and strengthening law enforcement to prevent drug trafficking in the country.

The National Drugs Strategy includes several harm reduction measures, such as improving access to the life-saving drug naloxone and drug test strips, which help users determine whether there are potent synthetic opioids to reduce the risk of drug overdose. It seeks to ensure that more people are able to engage in treatment programs and to strengthen data collection on drug use, treatment and recovery.

“It is unacceptable that we lose our lives by overdosing every five minutes,” Rahul Gupta, director of the National Drug Control Policy, told POLITICO.

The strategy also focuses on stopping the illicit flow of drugs such as synthetic opioids into the United States, targeting drug trafficking from both Mexico and China – something Republicans have criticized President Joe Biden for his immigration and border policies.

Drug policy experts say the administration has made a new and welcome effort to reduce overdose mortality, especially through harm reduction. But they say more urgency and more resources are needed to make a real impact.

“As we begin to see Covid-19 becoming more endemic, the opioid epidemic has worsened,” said Marla Kushner, president of the American Academy of Osteopathic Medicine.

Kouchner said he appreciates the administration’s clear efforts to involve groups like it in meetings on the best ways to overcome the crisis. But, he said, “we need more meetings, more money, more action, more supplies, more everything.”

Nora Volkov, director of the National Institute on Drugs, called the latest death toll in a statement to POLITICO a “devastating stage.” “Aggravating the tragedy,” he added, “we have not used enough treatment to help many people. “We need to meet people where they are to prevent overdoses, reduce harm, and connect people with proven treatments to reduce drug use.”

Improving data collection and reporting is another important adjustment that needs to be made in the administration’s approach to crisis, said Adams of the Center for Bipartisan Policy.

Some of the data released by the CDC on Wednesday is more than a year old, he notes. “One year has passed. “There is no way to save this life,” he said.

He said the administration should replicate the real-time boards they created for Covid-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations due to the opioid epidemic, so government officials, doctors and members of the public can see what is happening across the country.

“If you are in a society where overdose is increasing, you may take naloxone. “You may have to talk to your children about how to protect yourself,” he said. “Now we go on the road and look in the rearview mirror.”

Drug overdose in the US exceeded 107,000 last year, another record

Source link Drug overdose in the US exceeded 107,000 last year, another record

Back to top button