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Record number of opioid overdose deaths in 2014

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CDC reported on December 18 that opioid-related overdose deaths reached new levels last year. According to the <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm64e1218a1.htm?s_cid=mm64e1218a1_w" target="_blank">report</a>, natural or semi-synthetic opioids, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, were involved in more fatal overdoses than any...

CDC reported on December 18 that opioid-related overdose deaths reached new levels last year. According to the report, natural or semi-synthetic opioids, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, were involved in more fatal overdoses than any other type of opioid, with these deaths increasing 9% from 2013 to 2014. CDC noted that deaths from heroin and illicitly made fentanyl also increased last year. "The increasing number of deaths from opioid overdose is alarming," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. "The opioid epidemic is devastating American families and communities. To curb these trends and save lives, we must help prevent addiction and provide support and treatment to those who suffer from opioid use disorders. This report also shows how important it is that law enforcement intensify efforts to reduce the availability of heroin, illegal fentanyl, and other illegal opioids." The report pointed to two trends that worsened last year: a 15-year rise in deaths from prescription opioid analgesic overdoses and an increase in illicit drug overdoses from heroin. To prevent overdose deaths, CDC recommended four steps: limit initiation into opioid misuse and addiction, expand access to evidence-based substance use disorder treatment, expand access and use of naloxone, and joint efforts by state and local health agencies and others to improve detection of and response to illicit opioid overdose outbreaks.

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http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p1218-drug-overdose.html

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