Health Care

CDC Estimates A Record Number Of People Died Of Overdoses In 2017

CDC Estimates A Record Number Of People Died Of Overdoses In 2017”

Deaths involving synthetic opioids including fentanyl surged to almost 30,000 in 2017, according to the data, up more than 9,000 over the prior year.

Some of the states that saw the largest increase were North Carolina and New Jersey, each reporting an increase of better than 20 percent in 2017.

A Washington Post analysis of the report found that the increase in overdose deaths was largely due to a surge in the use of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

"States in the Western part of the US have not seen the same kind of increases in drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids", she added, noting that it is more common to see psychostimulants such as methamphetamine involved in drug overdose deaths in states like Oregon, Nevada and Washington.

In Utah, overdose deaths are expected to drop by nearly 12 percent, from 751 in 2017 to 662 in 2018.

The primary reason for the increase was a continued uptick in deaths involving synthetic opioids, a category that includes the medical painkiller fentanyl. As some investigations can take longer than others, the CDC adjusts its estimate based on the number of deaths still under investigation.

The report, "Opioid-related Overdose Deaths in MA by Industry and Occupation, 2011-2015", was created by the DPH's Occupational Health Surveillance Program in collaboration with the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, Injury Surveillance Program, and Office of Special Analytic Projects, and was funded by the CDC.

The CDC's 2017 estimate is not a final count.

Though the number of deaths rose in most states previous year, the number of fatal drug overdoses declined in 14 states, including Rhode Island (minus 7 percent), Vermont (minus 6 percent) and MA (minus 1 percent).

At the other end of the spectrum the plains states had some of the lowest death rates. Past year the Trump administration declared the epidemic a "public health emergency" but allocated no new funding for states to address the issue. "But just like the opioid medications used in humans, these drugs have potentially serious risks, not just for the animal patients, but also because of their potential to lead to addiction, abuse and overdose in humans who may divert them for their own use", Gottlieb said in a statement.

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