Opi­oid deaths ex­pected to peak in 2022

The Buffalo News - - NATIONAL NEWS -

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

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