Every 8 minutes, one more American is dead
| Jordan Chavez, KUSA – We are already in the midst of a nation wide epidemic and new numbers show opioid overdoses aren’t slowing down.
2017 saw the highest number ever for drug overdose deaths in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control’s newest report reveals around 72,000 people died across the country. That’s up nearly 7 percent from the year before.
A breakdown of the number is even more troubling.
Nationally, it averages out to around 200 people killed from an overdose a day which roughly translates to one person every eight minutes.
“So, if you think about what you do in the course of a day — just driving to work, let’s say — that could be three to four people just in your commute to work,” 9NEWS Medical Expert Dr. Comilla Sasson said.
More than two-thirds of overdose deaths are from opioids, the CDC reports, which includes natural opioids doctors prescribe — like oxycodone and hydrocodone — and synthetic opioids like fentanyl which is where the U.S. has seen the biggest rise, Sasson said. [Fentanyl is an FDA-approved drug; demand is so high that it is produced on the black market as well as in registered laboratories. – Editor]
“I’ve seen a lot of patients come into the emergency department who maybe thought that they were doing their normal drug, but that drug was laced with fentanyl or tramadol,” Sasson said.
“That’s when they come in and they’re in extreme respiratory distress which means they cannot breathe. They may have even stopped breathing and now we’re trying to get whatever medications we can to try to revive them.”
In Colorado alone, 1,052 people died last year as a result of an overdose. That’s about 75 more than the year before. The increase happened despite efforts in the state to combat problems with overdoses. Read the full story at 9news.com.