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Opioid Addiction in the Northeast
October 13, 2017

Opioid Addiction in the Northeast

Both prescription and illicit opioids are reported to be the main cause of drug overdose deaths. In 2015, 33,091 deaths occurred as a result of opioids. The five states reported to have the highest rates of death due to overdose include West Virginia, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Ohio, and Rhode Island.

The Northeast and South saw significant increases in drug overdose death rates from 2014 to 2015. The term opiates includes a large variety of drugs including fentanyl, morphine, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and heroin. In 2010 an estimated 210 million prescriptions for opiates were dispensed.

Commonly referred to as “the opioid epidemic,” this crisis of Americans struggling with opioid addiction, has lead to public outcry across the country. In the Northeast, just about everyone has seen the effects of opioid addiction in their lives whether it be first hand, friends or family, and neighbors.

The middle class has been hit especially hard by the opioid epidemic. Stories of mothers battling heroin addiction and teenagers overdosing on opioids are seemingly everywhere. Individuals prescribed painkillers following oral surgery or an injury find themselves soon in the midst of a fight for their life as addiction forms and grows. What begins as a prescription from a doctor to manage pain evolves into the pursuit of heroin on the streets once these medications are no longer available.

Community-based programs, officials, and politicians continue to place the opioid epidemic in the forefront as the search for a solution continues. Getting the help and proper care needed for those struggling with this addiction before it is too late is critical in saving lives.

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