By May 18, more than 12,500 Americans had died from an opioid overdose in 2017 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's more than double the number of reported deaths from gun violence so far this year.
It's a staggering statistic, but opioid addiction is a problem without an easy, straightforward solution.
In order to address the crisis fully, steps need to be taken on both the supply and demand sides of the issue, says Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City's health commissioner and former emergency room doctor. And, she points out, there are other societal factors to consider.
"When we look at the data of where it is that people are dying of overdoses, where the rates of addiction have climbed most precipitously, those areas are also the ones that are hardest hit by unemployment, by housing instability, by individuals in communities with uncertain futures," Wen says. "This is an overall societal problem that we need to address."
Read the entire story.