News Article

Bleak New Estimates in Drug Epidemic: A Record 72,000 Overdose Deaths in 2017


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

by New York Times

Fentanyl is a big culprit, but there are also encouraging signs from states that have prioritized public health campaigns and addiction treatment.

Drug overdoses killed about 72,000 Americans last year, a record number that reflects a rise of around 10 percent, according to new preliminary estimates from the Centers for Disease Control. The death toll is higher than the peak yearly death totals from HIV car crashes or gun deaths.

Analysts pointed to two major reasons for the increase: A growing number of Americans are using opioids, and drugs are becoming more deadly. It is the second factor that most likely explains the bulk of the increased number of overdoses last year.

The picture is not equally bleak everywhere. In parts of New England, where a more dangerous drug supply arrived early, the number of overdoses has begun to fall.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/15/upshot/opioids-overdose-deaths-rising-fentanyl.html