Opioid deaths expected to peak in 2022
WASHINGTON – In the nation’s opioid epidemic, the carnage is far from over.
A new projection of opioid overdose death rates suggests that even if there is steady progress in reducing prescription narcotics abuse nationwide, the number of fatal overdoses – which reached 47,600 in 2017 – will rise sharply in the coming years.
By 2022, such deaths would peak at about 75,400, and begin to level off afterward, according to the forecast.
That’s the rosiest scenario. Under conditions that are only slightly less optimistic, the
U.S. could have 81,700 opioid overdose deaths per year by 2025. If the supply of prescription painkillers stops declining and there are other setbacks, researchers predict that yearly opioid overdose deaths could rise as high as 200,000 per year by 2025.
The opioid epidemic “is not finished growing,” said Jagpreet Chhatwal of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, who led the research.
– Los Angeles Times