(WS) The Opioid Crisis: An unprecedented and accelerating death toll

The Centers for Disease Control deaths and mortality report for that year [of 2014] shows 2,626,418 total mortalities in the United States, with heart disease and cancer, both at approximately 600,000, lead-ing the way. Within this tabulation, drug-induced deaths would stand ninth amongst “leading causes,” just below influenza/pneumonia (55,227) and kidney disease (48,146), and just above suicide (42,773).

While all opioid overdose deaths for 2014 totaled nearly 29,000, heroin deaths contributed at least 10,500 to that total, almost exactly the same as the toll from gun murders. And while the number of drug overdoses is increasing, overdose deaths caused by diverted prescription opioids””the illegal activity the Post’s investigative piece highlights””have been overtaken in raw numbers by deaths from heroin and illicit synthetic opioids like fentanyl. All signs indicate that it is the supply of these illicit opioids that has accelerated most steeply since 2010 and that has driven deaths sharply higher in the months since the last reported mortality data from 2014.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Theology