Alcohol & Other Drugs: an increasingly deadly epidemic during the opioid crisis

By Sandra Ortellado

Deaths from drugs, alcohol and suicide could increase by 60 percent in next decade, according a report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust.

According to the report, alcohol-related deaths reached a 35-year high in 2015, Drug overdose deaths tripled between 2000 and 2015, and suicides also increased in the last decade by nearly 30 percent.

         

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The report also analyzed the economic impact of drug, alcohol and suicide-related health costs, which total $249 billion a year, amounting to about 9.5 percent of total U.S. health expenditures.

These numbers are particularly alarming in context of the current opioid crisis, which claimed more than 59,000 lives in 2016.

This past October, President Trump directed the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Nevertheless, Trump fell short of fulfilling his promise in August to declare “a national emergency” on opioids, which would have prompted the rapid allocation of federal funding to address the issue.

The opioid crisis is a complicated issue with important contextual factors that are crucial to understanding it. The New York Times wrote an informative piece on the opioid epidemic in America and what legislative action is being taken to fight it. Watch the video below that the New York Times made to answer some key questions about the opioid crisis:

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https://nyti.ms/2yPfXQI

Make sure that you are informed when taking opioid or other prescription pain medication. See these CDC factsheets on prescription opioids and how to prevent an opioid overdose in you or someone you know.

Julian Jaravata