News reports that Drug overdose deaths are decreasing. Is that proof that the situation is actually getting better? The problem of drug addiction, and overdoses are complex social disparities occurring in America. The news is reporting that less people are being killed by drug overdoses, but I doubt the validity.
For example, the increased utilization of Narcan by police and other first responders in overdose situations may have lead to a reduction in the number of opioid drug users who die when the O.D., but that doesn’t necessarily indicate that the problem of drug addiction in the U.S. is getting better.
The L.A. Times has more on the reported numbers on overdose deaths:
U.S. overdose deaths last year likely fell for the first time in nearly three decades, preliminary statistics suggest.
Nearly 68,000 drug overdose deaths were reported throughout the country last year, according to provisional figures posted Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number may go up as more investigations are completed, but the agency expects the final tally will not exceed 69,000.
Overdose deaths had been climbing each year since 1990, topping 70,000 in 2017.
Any leveling off — or decline — in overdose deaths is good news, but the overdose death rate is still about seven times higher than it was a generation ago.
“We’re still in a pretty sad situation that we need to address,” said Rebecca Haffajee, a behavioral health researcher at the University of Michigan who studies policies aimed at curbing opioid addiction.