Globally the leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer.
Opioid overdoses are a public health problem in the United States due to the growth registered during the last two decades.
While in the year 2000 they caused 17,415 deaths, by 2019 the historical record of 72,151 fatalities was reached.
Cases of opioid overdose They are not new, although they are being reported in increasing numbers. In the United States it is already a public health problem due to the exponential growth it has had. In parallel, more and more incidents of this type are occurring in other nations. Therefore, it is an issue that must be addressed immediately.
Increased use of fentanyl
Although there are many synthetic opioids, the most dangerous is fentanyl. It is a drug that is up to 50 times more powerful than heroin. It has medical functions for certain types of patients, but its consumption must be limited to hospital settings. Otherwise it is highly deadly.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only the American Union is responsible for 85 percent of the consumption of opioids on the entire planet. As part of the evolution of the problem, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) they affirm that in the year 2000 they caused 17 thousand 415 deaths. While for 2019 the historical record of 72 thousand 151 fatalities was reached.
In 2018, a study was published that indicated that up to 70 percent of opioids were obtained thanks to medical prescriptions. Although some are falsified, others are issued by doctors, so it is a problem in which there are several protagonists.
What is the probability of dying from an opioid overdose?
According to the records, in 2017 it was reported that one in every 96 cases died; instead, for the year 2020 the figure was one for every 67 patients. With this it can be seen that the trend is increasing.
Despite being a common fear, the chances of dying from an assault with a firearm are only one in 221, but still higher than dying in a motorcycle accident, drowning or suffocation. Dying in a dog attack remains highly unlikely, with a one in 69,016 chance. Dying in a hurricane or tornado or any other storm is one in 35,074 most likely.
Now, to put it into perspective, it is worth comparing what happens with other diseases and health problems. Also in the United States in 2020, one in 93 cases of suicide resulted in death. While one in 101 cases of traffic accidents are fatal.
On the other hand, the heart disease and cancer they remain the main causes of deaths not only in the American Union but throughout the planet. In addition, usually both problems are related.
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GRAPHIC: Opioid overdose deaths on the rise during the pandemic
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