Overdose Deaths Fall for First Time in Decades

Drug Overdose Deaths Fall in U.S. for First Time in Nearly Three Decades

Drug Overdose Deaths Fall in U.S. for First Time in Nearly Three Decades

The drop marks the first time that the number of overdose-related deaths has fallen since 1999.

Deadly drug overdose numbers rose yearly from 1999 to 2017, along side a tantalizing spike between 2014 and 2017. Many experts have pointed to the overprescribing of painkillers as the root of the United States opioid crisis, but say it then evolved into a heroin crisis and a fentanyl crisis.

"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. While the CDC anticipates the number of overdose deaths has declined, the rate remains high.

About 68,500 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2018, compared with about 72,000 the year prior, a 5% decrease, according to the CDC's provisional data. "One thing that may be making a difference is markedly increased availability of naloxone", Humphreys said, referring to a drug that can be used to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses.

It can take months for authorities to complete toxicology tests and other elements of a death investigation involving drugs. In 2015, heroin began causing more deaths than prescription painkillers or other drugs. And some states report more quickly than others.

The current overdose epidemic has killed more people than any other in USA history, and it had been on a soaring trajectory.

Experts trace the epidemic's origins to 1995 and the marketing of the prescription painkiller OxyContin.

While the number of overdose deaths fell as a whole, the CDC data shows that deaths involving cocaine and psychostimulants like methamphetamine and MDMA have actually risen from 2017 to 2018.

Ms. Haffajee and other researchers are trying to figure out what measures are most responsible for the slight improvement. She believes a major factor is Narcan, a nasal spray version of naloxone, that has been widely distributed through the efforts of philanthropists and local, state, and federal officials. Sign up today to get healthcare news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

"It's fantastic that we have fewer deaths, don't get me wrong", she said. "If you don't start millions of opioid-naive people on opioids they don't need, it translates over the short term into few of them developing opioid problems, and in the longer term into fewer overdoses".

The Washington Put up reports that the supreme U.S. drug corporations gave out 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone wretchedness capsules between 2006 and 2012. The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education.