CDC: 72,000 died from drug overdoses in 2017, 42,000 from opioids

CDC: 72,000 died from drug overdoses in 2017, 42,000 from opioids

That means there are about 200 drug overdose deaths in the country every single day, or one every eight minutes.

Investigators attribute the deaths to the opioids fentanyl and carfentanil - synthetic painkillers far more potent than heroin.

That's according to estimates released on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control.

Differences across the states include which specific drugs are involved in the deaths, Rossen noted.

A large government telephone survey suggests that around 2.1 million Americans had opioid use disorders in 2016, but that number may be an undercount because not all drug users have telephones and some may not mention their drug use because of the stigma.

The lag time between death and when the data are available for analysis is longer for drug overdose deaths compared with other causes of death, the CDC says.

The CDC updates these provisional numbers monthly.

Parts of Appalachia and New England showed the highest mortality rates. A recent report from MA indicates the downward trend in drug deaths in that state may continue.

The Mirror reported in March that overdose deaths in CT have almost tripled in a six-year period, when the state medical examiner made 2017 data available for the first time.

At the other end of the spectrum the plains states had some of the lowest death rates. One worrying sign: Jones said there is some early evidence that drug distributors are finding ways to mix fentanyl with black tar heroin, which could increase death rates in the West. Nebraska had the nation's highest percentage increase at about 33 percent, but the numbers are significantly smaller with 152 deaths. Particularly significant were the decreases seen in Vermont and MA, two states with relatively high rates of overdose mortality.

In Utah, overdose deaths are expected to drop by nearly 12 percent, from 751 in 2017 to 662 in 2018. Overdose deaths initially ballooned during the Obama administration, which was criticized by experts for being slow to respond to the problem.

While the Department of Health and Human Services has declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, skeptics have said few solutions have actually come out of the White House or Congress.

Since the rise of fentanyl in the opioid epidemic, a wide spectrum of local, state and federal officials have been working to implement a series of initiatives to fight the surge of the powerful drug.

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