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Opioid epidemic: Eastern United States most affected



More specifically, the study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, found that the mortality rate from synthetic opioids in 28 states was more than doubled every two years from 1999 to 2016. The District of Columbia saw the greatest increase in its

Synthetic opioids are human drugs such as fentanyl, as opposed to semi-synthetic opioids such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, or natural opioids such as codeine and morphine

Fentanyl is up to 50 times more powerful than heroin, and just ¼ of a milligram can be deadly. For comparison, a standard low-dose aspirin is 81 mg. If you were to cut that tablet into 324 pieces, one of those pieces would be ¼ milligram

"One thing I would like to highlight is that, despite the large differences in deaths across states, there is no evidence to suggest that there's differences in use, "Kiang said. "What we think is happening is that heroin just continues to get more and more potent in the eastern United States, while heroin [in] has traditionally been this heroin. synthetic opioids. "

 Fentanyl is the deadliest drug in America, CDC confirms

opioids were responsible for shaving 0.36 years off the Americans' life expectancy in 2016, the study says.

New Hampshire and West Virginia saw the biggest drop in life expectancy, of more than a year, due to opioid deaths. Montana and Oregon were the only states to see a decline in opioid deaths from 1999 to 2016.

According to the report, "emerging research … suggests that the opioid epidemic has evolved as a series of 3 intertwined but distinct epidemics,

  • 1990-2010: Prescription painkillers
  • 2010-present: Heroin
  • 2013-present: Synthetic opioids
  • Ciang and his colleagues identified 351,630 opioid-related deaths from 1999 to 2016. Over that 18-year period, deaths from opioids increased by 455%. Men, on average, died at age 39.8, women at age 43.5

    Kiang said that if anything, the number of opioid deaths is probably underreported because synthetic opioids require additional testing by a medical examiner. He hopes that testing for synthetic opioids will become standard whenever the cause of someone's death is classified as overdose

    Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University, said: "To talk about solutions, you have to frame the problem the right way." "It is a problem of opioid addiction," he said, adding that he was not a surgeon of the epidemic, but as an addiction epidemic

    "Preventing opioid addiction is necessary for the long term, so that this crisis ultimately comes to an end. means much more cautious prescribing. "

    Kiang agrees that there are multiple factors at work. "We need to make treatment at least as affordable, affordable and affordable as heroin," he said. "It would not be harder to get help than it is to get heroin."

    CNN's Nadia Kounang has contributed to this report


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