Opioid Overdoses Surpass Traffic Collisions as a Leading Cause of Death in America

Each year, millions of Americans are prescribed dangerous and addictive opioids by well-meaning doctors. While these drugs are intended to temporarily treat moderate to severe pain symptoms, opioid overdosing has become the #1 cause of unintentional death in the United States. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, the misuse of opioids – including prescription pain relievers and synthetic opioids like fentanyl – is reportedly responsible for over 100 preventable deaths every day.

A National Crisis

The National Safety Council recently updated its list of the “Lifetime Odds of Death for Selected Causes, United States,” and concluded that a person is more likely to die from an opioid overdose than a traffic collision. By analyzing and incorporating 2017 data regarding preventable and accidental deaths, the National Safety Council determined that Americans now have a 1 in 96 chance of dying from an opioid overdose. Comparatively, the odds of dying in a motor vehicle accident is now listed as being 1 in 103.

Ian Stewart, a reporter for NPR, notes in his article, “Report: Americans Are Now More Likely to Die of an Opioid Overdose Than on the Road,” that this national crisis is being exacerbated by the influx of illicit fentanyl: “Fentanyl is now the drug most often responsible for drug overdose deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in December. And that may only be a partial view of the problem: Opioid-related overdoses also have been undercounted by as much as 35 percent, according to a study published last year in the journal Addiction.”

Pharmaceutical fentanyl is commonly prescribed to patients who are suffering from extreme pain symptoms. This synthetic narcotic painkiller is 25-50% more potent than heroin and 50-100% more potent than morphine. For this reason, it’s considered particularly beneficial for cancer and post-surgery patients. However, this drug is incredibly addictive because it quickly binds to opioid receptors in the brain, instantly stimulating both euphoria and analgesia. While prescription rates are noticeably declining, drug cartels have started mass producing this comparatively cheap drug and cutting it with heroin or cocaine – often without the purchaser’s knowledge. According to the National Institutes of Health, illicitly manufactured fentanyl is responsible for tripling overdose deaths between 2013 (3,105) and 2015 (9,580).

Rely on Dedicated & Experienced Support

Since our establishment in 1975, Turning Point has been dedicated to providing exceptional services and medically-based treatment programs to people struggling with alcohol and drug addictions. Our team is led by compassionate experts who are licensed and credentialed in various treatment methods. If you’re ready to break free from your opioid addiction, reach out to our professional, friendly, and helpful staff members today. We’re available 24/7, and ready to help you start your journey.

Contact Turning Point at (973) 380-0905 to learn more about how we can help you. We have multiple locations throughout New Jersey, including Hunterdon, Essex, Ocean, and Passaic counties.


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