The number of deaths from 2014 to 2015 caused by synthetic opioids has increased to an alarming number, according to the data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new report confirms that the increase in the number of overdose calls first responders have been observing actually describes a much larger number of people affected.
According to the data provided by CDC, the number of deaths caused by synthetic opioids has increased by 72.2 percent in the span of one year.
Synthetic Opioids – Leading Cause Of Overdose
The number of people who died due to overdoses was more than 52,000 in 2015, and synthetic opioid consumption of substances such as fentanyl raised by as much as 72 percent from 2014 to 2015. The total number of opioid deaths was 10 percent higher in 2015 compared with 2014.
According to the figures, the spike registered in opioid abuse is partially connected to the rise of heroin and synthetic opioids that are more powerful.
Fentanyl and tramadol are some of the synthetic opioids whose consumption led to the spike. Of the synthetic opioids, fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin. The drug has been associated with heavy consumption since it killed pop star Prince in April 2016.
"Today's report shows significant increases across states in death rates from heroin and synthetic opioid deaths, coupled with continuing high numbers of fatal overdoses related to natural/semi-synthetic opioid deaths," noted the CDC statement.
According to the report, 33,091 people of the over 52,000 who died due to overdoses were killed by opioids. This number is a combination of the people who used both prescriptions and illegal means to obtain the painkillers. This means that 63 percent of the deaths caused by overdoses were actually related to opioids.
Opioid Abuse – An Expanding Issue
The data reported by the CDC comes the same week President Obama signed a new law, which gives the states a total of $1 billion to fight the opioid abuse.
"During 2010-2015, the rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States increased in 30 states and DC, remained stable in 19 states, and showed decreasing trends followed by increases in two states. From 2014 to 2015, drug overdose deaths increased by 5,349 (11.4%), signifying a continuing trend observed since 1999 (1). Opioid death rates increased by 15.6% from 2014 to 2015," quotes the CDC report.
And while the opioid crisis is becoming more acute, the number of deaths attributed to heroin has increased by 20 percent during the same period, which shows a new trend when it comes to drug abuse.