Drug overdoses rose 10 percent last year, killing an estimated 72,000 Americans, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
More Americans are using opioids, and the drugs are becoming more deadly as fentanyl is increasingly mixed into heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, The New York Times reports.
The CDC reported that overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl increased sharply, while deaths from heroin, prescription opioid painkillers and methadone decreased.
Full story at drugfree.org
As the demographics of heroin use continue to shift, a growing number of families whose children died of heroin overdoses are calling for a change in approach to addressing the crisis, according to The New York Times.
Heroin use previously was centered in poor, predominantly black urban areas, the article notes. Today, heroin use has jumped among whites, many of them living in the suburbs and small towns.
“Because the demographic of people affected are more white, more middle class, these are parents who are empowered,” said Michael Botticelli, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. “They know how to call a legislator, they know how to get angry with their insurance company, they know how to advocate. They have been so instrumental in changing the conversation.”
Full story of parents of deceased overdose children call for a change