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Record Increase in Overdose Deaths Reported by the CDC: 2016 Data

Preliminary data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that overdose deaths experienced a sharp increase in 2016. The report shows that fatal overdoses occur at a rate of 20 per 100,000 individuals. In 2015, that statistic stood at 16.3 per 100,000.

These numbers are difficult to estimate at year’s end, due mostly to the complex nature of toxicology testing, though data indicates that overdose deaths increased by 17 percent from late 2015 through late 2016.

Dr. Robert Anderson, chief of the CDC mortality statistics branch, states that deaths have been fueled by the uptick in synthetic compounds of heroin, including fentanyl and carfentanil. Both of those substances have been known to kill individuals in trace amounts, and have become an increasing danger to society as their presence becomes more and more common.

The annual CDC report showed that cancer and heart disease death rates are declining, while gun- and overdose-related deaths are on the rise. The overall death rate in the US also rose compared to the previous year.

Experts are expressing grave concern over the considerable increase in drug overdose deaths, year over year. These statistics are certainly indicative of the crisis at hand in the United States—and the sheer power of the opioid epidemic.

Hope for the Future 

The latest figures are more than concerning—they are painting a portrait of what we have lost. We have lost so many people to this insidious disease, and it has taken hold of families and friends across the nation.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to addiction treatment—or to combatting the opioid crisis in general—we must shed light on the help that is available to those who are struggling. Drugfree.org estimates that nearly 23.5 million Americans are in recovery from addiction—and it is our greatest hope that we can continue to help as many individuals as we can as we work to understand both the complexities and the seriousness of addiction.


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