Opioid Overdose Deaths to Grow Exponentially

Opioid Overdose Deaths to Grow Exponentially
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A new study suggests that the coming wave of opioid overdose deaths will be worse than ever and will not discriminate between rural and urban areas. Every area is expected to see a dramatic increase in opioid-involved overdose deaths. 

According to the researchers, opioid overdoses have reached a historic high. This increase is primarily driven by the combination of synthetic opioids with stimulants. An example would be cocaine and methamphetamines. This is a lethal combination and is very difficult to reverse in case of an overdose.

The researchers warn that death rates from opioids are at an all-time high, and the acceleration of the death rate signals explosive exponential growth. The escalation rate is the highest ever in America, and the upcoming wave could be much, much worse. 

The study reports that people are using fentanyl and carfentanil combined with methamphetamines and cocaine. The result is a powerful and lethal cocktail that is often not reversible, even with naloxone in case of an overdose. Those who died from opioid overdoses were managing their own dosing and misusing cocaine and methamphetamines along with an opioid. 

The authors highlight the need to look at opioid addiction and overdose prevention. This could be in the form of methadone or buprenorphine centres offering medication-assisted anti-addiction treatments. 

The important thing is to understand the seriousness of the problem and increase awareness on preventing opioid use disorders and providing medication-assisted treatment. 

Source: Northwestern University

Image Credit: iStock

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Post LA, Lundberg A, Moss CB et al. (2022) Geographic Trends in Opioid Overdoses in the US From 1999 to 2020. JAMA Netw Open. 5(7):e2223631. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.23631

Published on : Tue, 2 Aug 2022

opioids, opioid overdose, overdose deaths, fentanyl Opioid Overdose Deaths to Grow Exponentially

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