One in Five Young Adult Deaths From Opi­oids in US

Trillions - - Contents -

Re­searchers in Canada us­ing U.S. CDC data found that one out of ev­ery five deaths among young adults in the United States is re­lated to opi­oids.

The study, pub­lished in JAMA Net­work Open and led by St. Michael’s Hos­pi­tal in Toronto, ON, found that the per­cent­age of deaths at­trib­ut­able to opi­oids in the U.S. in­creased by 292 per cent from 2001 to 2016, with one in ev­ery 65 deaths re­lated to opi­oid use by 2016. This num­ber var­ied by age group and sex. Men rep­re­sented nearly 70 per cent of all opi­oid deaths by 2016, and the high­est bur­den was among young adults aged 24 to 35 years. This study ex­pands on re­search in Cana­dian pop­u­la­tions.

“De­spite the amount of at­ten­tion that has been placed on this pub­lic health is­sue, we are in­creas­ingly see­ing the dev­as­tat­ing im­pact that early loss of life from opi­oids is hav­ing across the United States,” said Dr. Tara Gomes, a sci­en­tist in the Li Ka Shing Knowl­edge In­sti- tute of St. Michael’s. “In the ab­sence of a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary ap­proach to this is­sue that com­bines ac­cess to treat­ment, harm re­duc­tion and ed­u­ca­tion, this crisis will im­pact the U.S. for gen­er­a­tions.”

Re­searchers re­viewed all deaths in the U.S. be­tween 2001 and 2016 us­ing the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion (CDC) WON­DER Mul­ti­ple Cause of Death On­line Data­base. This record cap­tures mor­tal­ity and pop­u­la­tion es­ti­mates across the U.S. by age and sex. The most dra­matic in­crease in il­licit and pre­scribed opi­oid-re­lated deaths was seen in those aged 24 to 35. By 2016, 20 per cent of all deaths in this age group were re­lated to opi­oid use - up from only 4 per cent in 2001.

Dr. Gomes, who is also a sci­en­tist at the In­sti­tute for Clinical Eval­u­a­tive Sciences in On­tario, and her team found that a to­tal of 1,681,359 years of life were lost pre­ma­turely to opi­oid-re­lated causes in 2016, which ex­ceeds the years of life lost each year from hyper­ten­sion, HIV/AIDS and pneu­mo­nia in the U.S.

“These num­bers show us the dra­matic im­pact of opi­oid-re­lated harms across all de­mo­graph­ics in the U.S.,” Dr. Gomes said. “We know this is not an iso­lated pub­lic health is­sue – it is one that spans across North Amer­ica.”

Among the more than 64,000 drug over­dose deaths in the U.S. es­ti­mated in 2016, the sharpest in­crease oc­curred among deaths re­lated to fen­tanyl and fen­tanyl analogs (syn­thetic opi­oids) with over 20,000 over­dose deaths.

Deaths from all le­gal and il­le­gal drugs dou­bled in the last ten years.

Death from pre­scrip­tion opi­oids dipped in 2013 but has been climb­ing steadily sense.

In the U.S. and Canada there is a se­vere short­age of ef­fec­tive and af­ford­able ad­dic­tion treat­ment cen­ters and many of the for-profit cen­ters do lit­tle good.

Neu­ro­feed­back has proven to be highly ef­fec­tive in treat­ing drug ad­dic­tion but is mostly ig­nored by the med­i­cal in­dus­try. The ad­dic­tion treat­ment racket prefers to see re­peat clients.

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