Opioid epidemic is killing more than government shows

accurately collecting opioid-related data, one could argue, considering the alarming data already provided by the government, that it’s more important to increase investments in treatment, awareness, and prevention.

“We need to invest in all of these areas,” he said. “We need to spend more on treatment and prevention efforts. We also need to gather better information. Investing in information is likely to be relatively cheap, compared to some other areas, and may well have a high payoff. However, expanded treatment options are a top priority.”

Ruhm believes that his findings may supply valuable information to policymakers attempting to combat the increasing number of deadly opioid overdoses. He added that improved efforts against the opioid crisis are possible outcomes of providing more accurate data to regulators and to the public.

“Better information is needed to understand the underlying causes of the fatal drug epidemic and these are needed if we are to develop the most effective strategies to reduce its severity,” he said. “In addition, the information provided in this study will allow us to more effectively target existing policy efforts.”