How to stop the deadliest drug overdose crisis in American history (Vox)
Wednesday Aug 2nd, 2017
The scale of America’s opioid epidemic is shocking.
It is the deadliest drug overdose crisis in US history. In 2016 alone, drug overdoses likely killed more Americans in one year than the entire Vietnam War. In 2015, drug overdoses topped annual deaths from car crashes, gun violence, and even HIV/AIDS during that epidemic’s peak in 1995. In total, more than 140 people are estimated to die from drug overdoses every day in the US. About two-thirds of these drug overdose deaths are linked to opioids.
Yet so far, there’s been a lack of policy action to end the opioid epidemic. Much of what has been done has focused on reducing the amount of prescription painkillers out there, yet the latest federal data shows prescriptions were still three times what they were in 1999. Other prevention efforts have focused on stopping heroin and fentanyl from entering the US, but they have so far failed to make a dent in the flow of these drugs.