As America's opioid crisis continues to get worse, a new report says that people dying from overdoses has overtaken another common cause of death for many Americans.
The National Safety Council says that death by opioid overdose is now a more likely cause of death for Americans than dying in a car accident. They say Americans have a 1 in 96 chance to die from opioid overdose, compared to 1 in 103 for car accidents. Opioid overdoses are now a more likely cause of death than guns, drowning and accidental falls. According to statistics, more than 130 Americans die from opioid overdoses every day.
As a result, the National Safety Council made a series of recommendations to help possibly reverse these statistics. These recommendations including increasing access to treatment for opioid addicts, increasing training for doctors who prescribe opioids and making naloxone (a drug that can reverse the effects of opioid overdoses) more readily available.
There are other strategies that are seen as controversial to help fight the opioid crisis. Many have suggested legalizing marijuana, as states with legalized cannabis often have lower rates of opioid abuse and studies have shown addicts will either use less painkillers or quit them entirely when given access to cannabis to treat their pain instead. There are also proposals to open clinics where opioid users can freely use their drugs under supervision, that way if an overdose does occur, a trained medical professional can keep them alive. These clinics would also have resources to help opioid users get into treatment programs.
But Republicans and the Trump administration have basically ignored every proposal that doesn't involve fighting the opioid crisis outside of the "Just Say No" mentality.
(h/t CBS News)