Drug Overdoses Now Killing More Americans Than the Vietnam and Iraq Wars
Posted On July 8, 2017
America’s Opioid Epidemic Continues
Opioid abuse and opioid overdose are now considered leading causes of shortened life expectancy in the U.S; especially among baby boomers. In 2016, drug overdose deaths reached another record. Based on the highest estimate by a New York Times analysis of data from each state (the official CDC numbers will be published in late 2017) – 2016 drug overdose deaths topped total US casualties from the wars in Vietnam and Iraq.
According to the New York Times preliminary analysis – 59,000 to 65,000 people died of overdoses in 2016. In comparison, more than 58,200 US troops died in the Vietnam War between 1955 and 1975, and more than 4,500 have died so far in the Iraq War since 2003 — which adds up to more than 62,700. The opioid addition problem has continued to worsen in 2017.
Blue Cross Blue Shield 2017: A preliminary analysis of opioid prescription regimens show that regimens of longer durations and higher dosages are associated with higher rates of opioid use disorder.
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) members with an opioid use disorder diagnosis spiked 493 percent over a seven year period from 2010 through 2016. (Members diagnosed with cancer or who were undergoing palliative or hospice care were excluded from this analysis.) Specifically, our report looks at the degree of prescription opioid use—in terms of the dose and duration of opioid prescriptions—and how this relates to opioid dependence. The BCBS Health Index® identifies substance use disorder as the fifth most impactful condition affecting the health of commercially-insured members in the U.S. Addressing the opioid epidemic is one of America’s greatest public health challenges.
The opioid addiction epidemic, (especially affecting baby boomers), is one of America’s foremost health crises. According to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) kill more than 33,000 people annually, which is more than any year on record and more than at the peak of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic.
The nation’s opioid epidemic reflects a complex set of circumstances. The pattern of opioid prescribing—including dose and duration-—and the patient’s risk factors of age, gender and condition are major determinants of whether a patient becomes dependent. As cases of opioid use disorder skyrocket among the commercially insured, the Blue Cross Blue Shield data sheds new light on the specific prescribing practices and use that pose a significant threat to patient health.
Synthetic Opioids – An Accelerating Overdose Crisis
The opioid crisis keeps evolving, driven by addiction and greed. As soon as authorities solve one problem, another pops up. Today that problem is new and ever more powerful synthetic opioid drugs.
Just a few granules of these synthetic opioids can kill, resulting in a dramatic rise in overdose deaths. Death rates from synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, increased 72.2% from 2014 to 2015, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in December 2016. The new report confirms the dramatic increase in opioid overdoses that first responders have been seeing as they respond to overdose calls.
Fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin. Fentanyl is not new and was first ‘discovered’ in 1980 by authorities. But over the past three years, it has been consistently found in drug seizures across the country.
Fentanyl made headlines as the drug that killed pop star Prince. The elephant tranquilizer carfentanil, a form of fentanyl and 10,000 times stronger than morphine, has also been claiming lives in a number of cities, as reported by local officials. In some Ohio counties, deaths from heroin have virtually disappeared. Instead, the culprit is fentanyl or one of its many analogues. In Montgomery County, home to Dayton, of the 100 drug overdose deaths recorded in January and February, only three people tested positive for heroin – but 99 tested positive for fentanyl or a synthetic analogue.
Successful Opioid Addiction Treatment: Addiction Recovery and Chronic Pain Management
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery is a gender specific rehab for men, baby boomers and older. Our treatment facility is located in the beautiful mountains above Prescott, Arizona. We have chosen to keep our facility small – and staff to client ratio large.
We treat boomer opioid addiction on two fronts: addiction and chronic pain. A key member of the Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Staff is Dr. Rob Ashby, M.D., Medical Director, Pain Medicine and Addictionologist is our physician. Dr. Ashby is board certified in pain medicine and addiction medicine.
In addition to allopathic medicine, Dr. Ashby has training in alternative medicine from the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. He is available to Arrowhead Lodge Recovery clients for physical medicine, pain medicine and addiction medicine.
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Rehab for Men
The Arrowhead Lodge Recovery experienced and accredited staff allows us to help men for whom previous treatment attempts may have failed. Thorough medical, psycho-social, addiction and trauma assessments inform medical interventions, medication management needs. Our licensed and credentialed team approach to treating addiction and trauma is individual to each client.
We use a multi-disciplinary evidence-informed addiction treatment approach implemented by licensed professionals. The Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Staff includes a Physician-Addictionologist, Addiction Psychiatrist, Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Registered Nurse, several Licensed Therapists, and an Addiction Nutritionist.
At our mountain retreat facility near Prescott, Arizona – mature men find and strengthen inner peace, discover a connection with their spirituality and experience tranquility.
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery is located in the Rocky Mountain pines of Northern Arizona; in Prescott National Forest. It is a man’s retreat from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. Our clients feel safe here and are therefore able to open up and work on tough emotional issues around addiction and trauma.
There is something to be said about recovering in a natural setting where the deer graze, coyotes howl, and hawks and eagles soar that helps men reconnect with nature, their spirituality and personal authenticity.
It’s difficult to describe just how peaceful it is – you need to be here to experience it firsthand.
Opioid Addiction and Recovery Questions?
For confidential addiction rehab and recovery inquiries, please feel welcome to contact Ken Chance at Arrowhead Lodge Recovery, 888-654-2800.