Drug overdose deaths in the US fell slightly in 2018, declining by 5.1% from 2017, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) National Center for Health Statistics. From 2014 to 2017, overdose deaths jumped by 5,000 or more each year.
"Lives are being saved, and we're starting up to make a selection out the strive towards in distinction crisis", Mr Azar's observation said, praising efforts by the Trump administration and community efforts all over the U.S. for the shift. The HHS secretary also announced that opioid prescriptions across the country have dropped.
The CDC is still tallying fatal drug overdoses for 2018, so the numbers released are considered preliminary.
Just released data on opioid prescribing shows that from 2006 to 2012, pharmaceutical companies distributed 76 billion opioid pills in the United States. "Losing almost 70,000 people a year of course still means we're in the midst of a public health disaster, but this is the first real sign of hope we've had that we might be turning the corner". That's the biggest decline among the drug categories tracked in the CDC's provisional data. Additionally, more drug users have access to treatment and to naloxone, and there is increasing awareness of the dangers of fentanyl. In 2017, the preliminary figures were off by about 2,000 fatal overdose cases compared to those in the final report.
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The CDC examine reveals that an estimated 68,557 other folks died in 2018, down from 72,224 other folks in 2017. There is also the possibility that the leveling off in opioid cases might still change significantly in the coming months. However, it eventually ballooned to about 70,000 after the introduction of synthetic opioids into the black market. Overdose deaths increased in 17 states, including all of the states on the southwest border with Mexico, where most of the illegal drugs enter the United States. Overdose related to cocaine and psychostimulant use also increased during the same period.
"Since the epidemic started, we've had a few years where deaths were flat or barely grew year on year, but this is the first time they've actually declined", said Stanford University professor Keith Humphreys, a former senior policy adviser at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The decrease is linked to fewer deaths from prescription opioids, according to the agency. Numerous high-prescribing counties saw some of the nation's worst rates of overdose deaths. "This crisis developed over 2 decades, and it will not be solved overnight". He added that the government will continue to provide resources and support to the public to help prevent and treat drug addiction.