For the first time ever, Americans are more likely to die of an accidental opioid overdose than in a motor vehicle crash, according to a new report from the National Safety Council. Car crashes were higher than drug overdoses for decades. Both are preventable injuries.
The group calculates that the chance of dying from an opioid overdose has increased to 1 in 96, surpassing the odds of dying in a car accident, at 1 in 103. It’s also greater than the odds of dying from a fall, a gun assault, pedestrian accident, or drowning. These statistics are sad, more people die from drugs than car accidents. It just needs to stop.
Overall, heart disease and cancer continue to be the leading causes of death for Americans — accounting for 1 in 6 and 1 in 7 deaths, respectively. But the report also found that fallsare killing more Americans than ever before. The lifetime risk of dying from an accidental fall are now 1 in 114, up from 1 in 119 just a year ago.
“The opioid crisis remains an abstract issue for many people; they still believe it will not happen to them, or it isn’t a risk facing them or their family,” Maureen Vogel, spokeswoman for the National Safety Council, told CBS News. “These numbers show the gravity of the problem our country is facing. We need to reprioritize and regroup, because all these deaths are preventable.”
Each day more than 130 Americans die after overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report finding the number of drug overdose deaths among middle-aged women skyrocketed between 1999 and 2017, with opioids, including fentanyl and heroin, being the main driver. Deaths from prescription and illicit opioids in children and teens also tripled over the same time period, according to a recent study published in JAMA Network Open.
Data reported last year showed drug overdoses killed more Americans in 2016 than the Vietnam War, with three-quarters of those deaths caused by opioids.
The National Safety Council recommends a number of steps for tackling the problem of opioid misuse: increasing access to addiction treatment; making naloxone (also known as Narcan), a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, more readily available; and increasing training in pain-management for opioid prescribers.
Public health and drug policy experts say there are solutions to the opioid crisis. First, America could dramatically expand access to addiction treatment — which, based on a 2016 surgeon general report, remains inaccessible to the bulk of people who need it. That should entail dramatically boosting access to medications like methadone and buprenorphine, which are considered the gold standard of treatment for opioid addiction and reduce the mortality rate among opioid addiction patients by half or more.
We are handling Opioid overdose cases as well as car accident cases. The United States lifetime odds of being in either is too high and we are the law firm that is ready to protect it’s citizens.
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