2,765 Texans, including 12 women who died from the opioid epidemic, died of overdose in 2017, according to a study published in the journal New England Journal of Medicine. This makes the death toll from opioid misuse in the United States the highest on record. The number of overdose deaths with opioid exposure in 2017 broke the previous high in 2012, which saw 2,184 deaths caused by the disease.
The majority of the opioid deaths involved a prescription opioid, but there were 64 opioid deaths for every 10,000 opioid exposure deaths in 2017. That makes opioid death rates not only highest on record, but are more than four times as high as the rate for drug poisoning deaths. Deaths of men in the United States have increased more than eight-fold since 1999.
While the opioid crisis may sound like a place in time, the statistics are further evidence that the crisis has ravaged the United States, affecting people of all ages, demographics and incomes. Research done by the New England Journal of Medicine states that over the past decade, the number of U.S. adults with a chronic pain condition has more than doubled from 15 million to 31 million.
Overdose deaths continue to rise, according to the report. “The opioid epidemic continues to claim countless lives and significantly undermine health-care access and maintenance in the United States,” the authors write. “As the opioid epidemic continues, ultimately undermining societal safety and security, its causes and its consequences are all too apparent.”
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