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Fatal Overdose Statistics

Those who become addicted to drugs or alcohol lack the same amount of fear as the average person. When a person doesn’t have the ability to recognize fear the same as everyone else, they get this idea that they’re invincible. The problem is that this is what leads to the thousands of overdoses that are taking place all over the United States.

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One of the primary issues with the disease of addiction is that it affects a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. This portion of the brain has a bunch of different responsibilities, and one of the key ones is fear modulation. Most people are taught at a very young age that drugs are bad and dangerous, and people also hear about overdoses throughout the country.

National Overdose Statistics

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a government organization that’s responsible for researching addiction and tracking statistics. According to the website, overdose rates for most addictive substances have been on the rise in recent years. In 2005, the national amount of overdoses was at about 30,000, and that number had almost doubled by 2015. Each year, thousands and thousands of men and women of all ages are dying from fatal overdoses.

Of these overdose deaths, many are coming from different forms of prescription medications like opioid pain relievers and benzodiazepines. Many people believe the primary drug that’s killing people is heroin, but there were less than 14,000 deaths in 2015 from heroin. According to the NIDA, prescription medications were responsible for about 27,000 deaths in that same year. Even when you combine heroin and cocaine statistics for fatal overdoses, it’s less than the amount of people dying from prescription drug overdoses.

The Problem is Spreading

There was a long time where people thought the drug problem was only in neighborhoods of poverty, but that’s starting to change. Each year, we’re seeing that the drug issues and overdoses are creeping throughout the United States into suburban areas as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracks the rate of change for the overdose death rates throughout the country. Some of the rises in percentages are absolutely shocking.

Each of the statistics take place just between 2014 and 2015, and areas from the Northeast to the Southeast of seen huge rates of increase. Connecticut had a 25.6 percent increase, Marilyn was at 20.1 percent, Maine was at 26.2 percent, and Massachusetts saw one of the biggest increases at 35.3 percent. Even southern states like Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana and North Carolina saw increases of 10 percent or more, and Kentucky had a 21 percent rate of increase.

More and more first responders like EMTs, firefighters and police officers are carrying the life-saving drug Narcan to help with the overdose crisis. Some states are even making it legal for Narcan to be sold at pharmacies without a prescription. The issue is that Narcan doesn’t stop the problem. Narcan doesn’t help someone who has become addicted to heroin, prescription medications or any other drug. There is a way to get help and regain control of your life if you’re struggling with an addiction, and that’s through quality addiction treatment here at Boca Recovery Center.
Updated June 21, 2023
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