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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that drug overdose in the United States has roughly quadrupled since 1999

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that drug overdose in the United States has roughly quadrupled since 1999

New data out of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that drug overdose in the United States has roughly quadrupled since 1999, with a total of 16,000 people dying from opioid overdose alone, in 2013. In addition, though, more than 8,000 have also died from overdose of the street opioid heroin, which is three times higher than numbers from 2010.

The prescription drug overdose epidemic is tragic and costly, but can be reversed, said Dr. Tom Frieden, who is the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a recent press release. Frieden goes on to say, Because we can protect people from becoming addicted to opioids, we must take fast action now, with real-time tracking programs, safer prescribing practices, and rapid response. Reversing this epidemic will require programs in all 50 states.

Furthermore, California Department of Public Health director Dr. Karen Smith comments, Prescription opioid misuse can hurt anyone who has access to these medications, as well as their families and loved ones. The California state health officer goes on to say, People often associate drug abuse with illegal drugs, but this effort targets the misuse of drugs that were prescribed for pain management.

And so, in an attempt to somehow quell the potential of a national epidemic, the CDC announced, on Friday, that they are launching a $20 million program which they are calling Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention For States. The hope is that the program can help each state to end the trend.

For now the program will only involve 16 states but each state will receive federal funds and professional expertise to help prevent deaths due to prescription opioid drug overdose.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that drug overdose in the United States has roughly quadrupled since 1999

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