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“The numbers are so staggering.” Excessive Deaths Record a record last year.

A class of synthetic drugs has replaced heroin in many major US drug markets, leading to a more lethal phase…

A class of synthetic drugs has replaced heroin in many major US drug markets, leading to a more lethal phase of opioid epidemic.

New numbers Thursday from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention measures show that drug doses killed more than 70,000 Americans in 2017, a record. Excessive deaths are higher than deaths from H.I.V, car accidents or violence at the peaks. The data also show that the increased deaths are strongly consistent with the use of synthetic opioids called fentanyls.

Since 201

3, the number of deaths associated with overdosage associated with fentanyls and similar drugs has increased to more than 28,000, from 3,000. Fentanyl deaths increased more than 45 percent by 2017.

Death overdose deaths 1980-2017

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“If we talk about counting the bodies where they lie and the cause of death, we’re talking about a fentanyl crisis,” says Jon Zibbell, a senior public health scientist researcher at the research group RTI International.

The recent increases in drug abuse have been so severe that they have contributed to the country’s longevity over the past three years, a pattern that has never been the subject of World War II. Lifespan at birth has decreased by almost four months, and drug doses are the main cause of death for adults under 55 years.

“The idea that a developed rich nation like ours has reduced expected lifetime does not seem right,” said Robert Anderson, Head of Mortality Statistics at CDC, which helped prepare the reports. “If you look at the other wealth in the world, they do not see the same thing.”

In a separate report, C.D.C. also documented a 3.7 percent increase in the suicide rate, a continuation of a newly developed trend. The increases were especially concentrated in rural America, and among middle-aged women, although the suicide rate for men is higher than for women of all ages.

The recent federal public policy response to opioid epidemics has focused on opioid receptions. But several public health researchers say that the appearance of fentanyls requires different tools. Opioid prescriptions have fallen, even though death from overdose increases.

“Fentany Death is up, an increase of 45 percent, it’s not a success,” said Dr. Dan Ciccarone, professor of family and social medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “We have a heroin and synthetic opioid epidemic that does not are in control and need to be resolved. “

Synthetic drugs tend to be more lethal than prescription pills and heroin of two main causes. They are usually more potent, which means that small measurement errors can lead to an overdose. The mixtures of synthetic drugs also tend to to change frequently, making it easy for drug users to underestimate the strength of the drug they inject. In some parts of the country, drugs are sold as heroin exclusive fentanyler now.

The trend of overdose deaths varies widely across the country. The epidemic has been strongest in the northeast, midwest and interstate states. In the west, where heroin is much less likely to be mixed with fentanyles, is the overdoses are much lower. Data from C.D.C. indicates that a state overdose trend accurately traces the number of fentanyl-related deaths.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Despite the sharpest recent increases in drug-related deaths, some early signs suggest that 2017 may be the top of the overdose epidemic. Preliminary C.D.C. Data shows death rates the level of nationality at the beginning of this year, but there is still a lot of local variation. Several states and cities have begun ambitious public health programs to reduce the likelihood of drug abuse and link more drug users to treatment, and some of these changes may have fruit.

“What encourages me is that it’s a kind of all-hands-on-deck problem, and we’re all on the deck,” says Anna Lembke, Professor of Psychiatry in Stanford, and author of a book on how Medical practice contributed to opioid epidemics. [19659017] But there is still a very long way to go. “The concept of a plateau does not fill me with much optimism, considering the high numbers,” says Joshua Sharfstein, a deputy dean at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health School and the former Secretary of Health and Mental Health in Maryland, where overdoses continue to rise . “The numbers are so dizzy.”

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