The David & Lyn Silfen Forum 2019: "Is There an Antidote for the Opioid Epidemic?"

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The burgeoning abuse of opioids – including prescription pain relievers, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and heroin – and their devastating impacts ARE well-documented. The data are as shocking as they are staggering. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people now die from opioid overdoses each day in the United States. As a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, life expectancy in the U.S. is declining at rates not seen in more than a century. How bad has it become? In the U.S., drug overdoses in 2017 exceeded the highest-ever recorded incidences of car crash deaths (1972), HIV deaths (1995), and gun deaths (1993). The CDC now estimates that the total economic impact of opioid misuse in the U.S. is $78.5 billion a year. Hospitals and healthcare providers, social service agencies, the criminal justice system, and other resources are being severely stressed. Families and entire communities are being shattered. And the problem is not limited to the U.S.: a recent report indicated that the rate of opioid use is increasing globally.
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