Opioid Overdose Becoming Leading Cause Of Death

Narcotics Death Toll
We must fight the culture of death, in all it's manifestations.

As the opioid crisis rips through middle America, the death toll has quadrupled from 2000 to 2014, as hospitalizations due to overdoes have claimed thousands. A recent study revealed that – sadly – the trend continues, with 42,000 Americans dying of opioid overdoes in 2016 alone.

Issued by the Health Affairs, a medical statistics compiler and study institute, purports to contain the very first national representative of the damage caused by the opioid epidemic and the resulting mortality rates. The study used the data from different hospitals all over the country and concluded that the hospitalization rates, because of the opioid overdose, went on to increase 0.43 percent in a period starting from 1993 to 2000, which again took a hike of 2.02 percent in 2014, which is an average increase of almost a 0.12 percentile points a year.

The opioid rate had almost doubled between 2007 and 2014, which also indicated that the rate of the opioid usage also increased, similar to increase in the rate of people misusing opioid. As of today, almost 7000 people are being taken care of in the emergency centers for the drug misuse, every single day.

For more comparisons, the mortality rate of the hospitalization due to the overdose and misuse of the other drugs remained to be a constant on the timeline starting from 1993 to 2014. Whereas, the mortality rate of hospitalization for all the other drugs went on to further decrease. In a way, this means that if the other hospitalization rate was 5 times that of opioid misuse. But by 2014, the same opioid misuse has outgrown all other hospitalizations.

The period under observation noticed that the number of the admissions for all the opioid-related issues have been constant, and the only thing that was dynamic were the issues. Especially the hospitalization for the abuse that was declined by 0.01 per 1000 people a year, whereas the hospitalizations for drug overdose and poisoning increased with the same rate.

Today drug poisoning is the most common cause of deaths in the US, having left traditional causes of death, like homicide, suicide, and car accidents, in the dust.

This increase in the rate of mortality hospitalization rates is more evidence that even though it has been brought into public notice very recently, the epidemic has been destroying the American citizen’s life for the past 20 years. Another of the recent study, on the same matter, showed that almost 13 percent of the Americans of age 12 and above were admitted to the hospitals for the misuse and the rate has been constant throughout from 2003 and 2014.

The author of the study, Dr. Zirui Song, who happens to be an assistant professor for the healthcare policies at the Harvard and a physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital, says that there are three major reasons for the increase in the mortality. According to Song, the first reason is the frequency of the severe cases being treated in overdose reversing drugs, the rise in the cost of prescription drugs against much cheaper heroin, and the last reason being the introduction of powerful opioids are the strongest reasons for the increase in cases for deaths by overdose in 2016.

“Until community-based effort to tackle opioid misuse have taken root, treating opioid addiction and better equipping hospitals to care for patients with increasingly severe opioid abuse may help the health care system combat the rising mortality rates of patients hospitalized for opioid use disorders,” Song stated in his report.