Dr. Christopher Ruhm reviewed thousands of death certificates from 2008 through 2014. He concluded the mortality rates were 24 percent higher for opioids and 22 percent higher for heroin than had been previously reported. These differences are likely attributed to the growing use of synthetic opioids like street fentanyl that medical examiners and health departments may not have included initially on death certificates. Experts have previously said the reported numbers of deaths were underestimated, but this is the first study to quantify just how much.
“Opioid mortality rate changes were considerably understated in Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Jersey and Arizona,” the study states. “Increases in heroin death rates were understated in most states, and by large amounts in Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Jersey, Louisiana and Alabama.”
These statistics emerged just days after the presidential opioid commission, led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, urged President Donald Trump to “declare a national emergency” to deal with the crisis.
2016 Opioid Overdose Deaths Even Higher
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, estimates for the first nine months of 2016 were higher than the first nine months of the previous year, which had already reached an all time high of 52,404. Of those, more than 33,000 were attributed to opioid drugs including legal prescription painkillers as well as illicit drugs like heroin and street fentanyl.
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.
Death Toll Equal to September 11th Every Three Weeks
According to a preliminary study by the opioid commission chaired by Gov. Chris Christie, President Donald Trump should declare a national emergency and put the federal government fully behind efforts to curb opioid addiction. The study urged President Donald Trump to “declare a national emergency” and noted that “America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks.”
“By declaring a state of emergency, the president will be putting the full weight of his office behind this issue,” said Christie, chairman of the President’s Commission on Combating the Opioid Crisis.
Christie said 142 Americans die every day from a drug overdose. “To say we have a crisis here is an understatement,” he said. “We are having our citizens die every day.”
NIDA Study Shows Need for Access to Evidence-based Pain Management
The study data indicated that pain relief was most commonly cited as the reason for the misuse of opioids. And, that close to half of those who misused opioids obtained them free from a family member or friend. NIDA’s recommendations included “better prevention and treatment of the underlying disorders are necessary to decrease pain and the morbidity and mortality associated with opioid misuse,” the study said.
“As access to prescription opioids tightens, consumers increasingly are turning to dangerous street opioids, heroin, fentanyl alone or combined, and mingled with cocaine or other drugs,” the President’s Commission on Combating the Opioid Crisis stated in an interim report to Trump.
NIDA said the treatment of pain and pain management are at the root of the problem. “Our results are consistent with findings that pain is a poorly addressed clinical and public health problem in the United States and that it may be a key part of the pathway to misuse or addiction,” the group stated in the study.
According to the study, based on data collected from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, close to 92 million people (38 percent) used prescription opioids in the prior year. Of these, about 11.5 million misused the drugs, and 1.9 million had an opioid use disorder.
Most people (63.4 percent) who misused these medications reported doing so to relieve physical pain. About 41 percent who misused opioids obtained them for free from a friend or relative. Misuse is defined as use of a medication without a prescription, for a reason other than as directed by a physician, or in greater amounts, more often, or longer than prescribed.
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.
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.