Several states in America are constantly battling drug and opiate overdose, which is rapidly becoming the most common reason for early deaths and unemployment in the country.
Injury deaths, homicides, and drug abuse are ranked amongst the top causes for youngsters losing their lives.
According to the latest County Health Rankings & Roadmaps Report, the premature death rate in the country is rising. The study shows that many young Americans are losing their lives due to drug abuse and overdose.
"Drug overdose was by far the single leading cause of premature death by injury in 2015 and contributed to the accelerated rise in premature death from 2014 to 2015," notes the report.
What Is Opiate Overdose?
Opiate overdose is an extreme condition arising from consumption of excessive opiates such as heroin, fentanyl, morphine, and methadone. Often, it is seen that overdoses arise from prescription drugs meant for relieving pain. The increase in doctors prescribing such drugs is what is leading to an alarming increase in opiate overdose.
Premature Deaths: How Bad Is The Problem?
The easy availability of opiate drugs on the street have contributed to a rise in premature deaths.
The report reveals that the rise in premature deaths has seen the maximum increase in those aged between 15 to 44 years. One of the key findings was that the death rate showed a rise in 2012 and has since grown manifold. The premature death rate gained pace from 2014 to 2015, which is a 1 percent increase.
In the past decade, suburban metro counties showed the unhealthy trend of going from the lowest rates of premature deaths because of drug overdose, to the highest. Moreover, for youngsters aged between 15 to 24 years, death due to drug overdose showed an increase. However, the premature deaths were also because of firearm hazards, as well as car accidents.
Cuyahoga County, Ohio, has experienced over 800 cases of premature deaths due to opiate overdose in the past two years.
The use of the synthetic opiate fentanyl — which is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine — has aggravated the problem.
What Are Its Related Effects?
Drug abuse has largely hit the section of teenagers who are not in school or people who are unemployed. Such communities have always struggled to provide for education for their children and, therefore, lead to increased dropout and unemployment rates.
Unsurprisingly, there are greater rates of unemployment and school dropouts in areas where such drug abuse is rampant.
What Steps Are Being Taken To Counter Opiate Abuse?
The government is taking several steps to stop drug abuse among teenagers. Manchester, New Hampshire, has opened up its 10 fire stations to drug abuse victims, so that they can rehabilitate and recuperate. Since the program's inception, they have treated roughly 1,000 people.
Wisconsin's Menominee Indian High School's graduation rate was just 60 percent. However, by identifying the root cause of the behavior, and paying attention to the traumatized background of the children, the school managed to increase the graduation rate to over 90 percent in 2016.
Ohio's own Project DAWN also has a strategy to prevent deaths due to drug abuse. The program offers free overdose reversal kits to victims and helps them recoup. Since 2013, this program has rescued more than 660 patients.