For the first time in a decade, the death rate in the United States has gone up. One of the major reasons for the rise has alarmed health experts and state lawmakers across the country: drug overdoses.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examined data from the National Center for Health Statistics and found that a significant portion of the nation’s population died in 2015 as a result of fatal overdoses. Moreover, many of the fatal overdoses were caused by prescription drugs.
Other causes of the sharp rise in the U.S death rate included suicide and deaths from Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2015, nearly 730 people for every 100,000 died, which represented a notable increase over the previous year’s death rate of 723 for every 100,000 people.
Prior to 2015, the death rate in the United States had been trending downward, largely due to improved medical care options and greater access to affordable healthcare for many citizens. That’s what makes the recent uptick in the death rate so shocking.
Prescription Drug Abuse Causing More Deaths
In 2012, doctors and other healthcare providers reportedly issued 259 million prescriptions.
Prescription drug addiction and abuse are serious problems, with more people than ever getting hooked on prescription painkillers and other narcotics and then seeking out the drugs through illegal channels.
Prescription painkillers now kill more Americans than heroin. The most commonly used prescription narcotics include Oxycontin and Vicodin, which are often obtained legally through a doctor’s prescription. These drugs function in the same way as heroin and can have similar effects on the human body. Moreover, like heroin, these drugs are highly addictive.
In many instances, prescription drug abuse can be a precursor to heroin abuse. That’s because people who get hooked on legal painkillers may find that heroin is a cheaper alternative. In fact, the CDC indicated that a person who abused prescription opioids is 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin later on in life than a person who does not abuse painkillers.
For additional information, view the Yahoo.com article, “The US Death Rate Just Rose for the First Time in a Decade for an Alarming Reason.”
If you or a loved one has been charged with illegal possession of prescription medication, heroin possession, marijuana possession or any other drug crime in New Jersey, you need to have a qualified criminal defense attorney on your side. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. will help you fight your drug offense charges and steer clear of the most severe penalties. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation.