The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a report last week that revealed a 21% increase in the number of overdose deaths in 2016 when compared to 2015.
The new report, which was published by the CDC on March 30, revealed that 63,632 Americans died as a result of drug overdose in 2016. Of those deaths, roughly two-thirds were attributed to opioids, with opioids involved in nearly 42,000 instances of those who died from drug overdose.
According to analysis from the CDC, the surge in the number of overdose deaths can attributed to synthetic opioids. In particular, the CDC report mentioned fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is roughly one hundred times more potent than morphine. In November, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared a national shortage of legal fentanyl, but dangerous illegally manufactured fentanyl continues to make its way to the street.
The CDC analysis revealed that the rate of fatal heroin overdoses had climbed 20 percent between 2015 and 2016. There were additional instances of rising rates of fatal overdose, as well, as deaths as a result of prescription opioid overdose increased by over 10 percent. Furthermore, 10 states saw their rates of fatal drug overdose double over the same period.
Ohio, Washington DC, and West Virginia were the states that saw the highest number of deaths as a result of heroin overdose, while Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and West Virginia had the highest number of deaths as a result of synthetic opioids, such as the aforementioned fentanyl.
As the opioid crisis continues to ravage the United States, the Trump administration has pledged to help turn the tide of addiction. While the administration has yet to provide additional avenues for addiction recovery treatment, Trump recently tweeted an announcement that touring art installation which memorializes those who have died from opioid overdose in the United States will be hosted near the White House later this month.