America’s opioid problem has been getting progressively worse for years, and a new study shows that deaths are reaching a new high for young adults.
The study from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto shows that one fifth of deaths among 25–34 year-olds in the United States are opioid related. That’s right: one-fifth.
The number of people dying from opioid use has increased by nearly 300 percent over the last 15 years, with young adults taking the heaviest toll.
American research conducted by analyzing causes of death and mortality statistics over 15 years by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) helps bolster the finding of the St. Michael's Hospital researchers. They also found that almost 1.7 million years of life were lost due to opioid related deaths in 2016: more than HIV/AIDS, high-blood pressure related issues and pneumonia.
Dr. Tara Gomes—a scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's—says the increase in opioid related deaths prove that current attempts at prevention aren't working.
"Despite the amount of attention that has been placed on this public health issue, we are increasingly seeing the devastating impact that early loss of life from opioids is having across the United States."
And this is no isolated incident either, says Gomes. The effects will be long reaching.
"This crisis will impact the U.S. for generations."
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