The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics released interesting numbers in the past week that seem to show a decrease in overdose deaths nationally in 2018 of 5.1% from the prior year. Unfortunately, the opioid and fetanyl epidemic remain a public health crisis as Doug O'Brien, Region 5 Director of the US Department of Health and Human Services, discussed yesterday on The Scott Sands Show -- click here to listen on our free iHeartRadio app.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar issued a statement saying: “The latest provisional data on overdose deaths show that America’s united efforts to curb opioid use disorder and addiction are working. Lives are being saved, and we’re beginning to win the fight against this crisis. Under President Trump’s leadership, and thanks to efforts on the ground by communities across America, the number of patients receiving medication assisted treatment has risen, distribution of overdose-reversing drugs is up, and nationwide opioid prescriptions are down. While the declining trend of overdose deaths is an encouraging sign, by no means have we declared victory against the epidemic or addiction in general. This crisis developed over two decades and it will not be solved overnight. We also face other emerging threats, like concerning trends in cocaine and methamphetamine overdoses. President Trump and HHS will continue to provide the resources and support communities, families, and individuals in our collective efforts to prevent and treat addiction.”
In the CDC report:
- Drug overdose deaths were down 4.2% nationally
- 18 States had double-digit increases in overdose deaths including Vermont, Delaware, South Carolina, Missouri, and Arizona with increases of 10-20%
- Ohio had a decline in overdose deaths of 22.4%, although Lucas County saw an increase in opioid related deaths
- Michigan overdose deaths declined by 3.7%
More than 4,000 overdose deaths were reported in Ohio for 2018. Learn more about the Lucas County Sheriff's Office DART (Drug Addiction Response Team) Unit by clicking here.