CDC: More Americans Dying From Opioid Overdoses.
The AP(8/17, Ronayne) reports that according to the CDC, Americans are dying at a rate of 78 per day from opioid overdoses, and that figure continues to rise. The article points out that “overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have quadrupled since 1999, tracking a similar increase in the amount of these drugs being prescribed by doctors.” The article adds that experts are attributing this marked increase in large measure to excessive prescribing of painkillers.
The AP (8/17) reports the White House has pledged that it “will spend $17 million to help law enforcement agencies deal with the increase in heroin and opioid abuse.” The funds will “support an array of projects to disrupt drug trafficking, increase the use of the drug naloxone to reverse overdoses and train medical providers on safe prescribing practices.”
Heroin is the single greatest threat in the Chicago HIDTA region. There is continuing and increased availability and use of the drug. Heroin purity levels appear to be on the rise. Availability and increased use and purity of the drug have led to increases in heroin related overdose deaths.