America’s Drug Death Trends Are More Complex Than The Current Narrative About Opioid Overdoses
Overdose deaths are on a sharp upward trajectory, but the roles different drugs play in that overarching epidemic has been simplified to focus on opioids. A new study reveals the depth of the crisis in America over the past four decades, and offers a grim picture of the country's future.
Los Angeles Times:
Over Four Decades, An 'Inexorable' Epidemic Of Drug Overdoses Reveals Its Inner Secrets
Americans have long construed drugs of abuse as choices. Poor choices that can cost users their lives, to be sure, but choices nonetheless. But what if drugs of abuse are more like predators atop a nationwide ecosystem of potential prey? Or like shape-shifting viruses that seek defenseless people to infect? If public health experts could detect a recognizable pattern, perhaps they could find ways to immunize the uninfected, or protect those most vulnerable to the whims of predators’ appetites. (Healy, 9/20)
The Wall Street Journal:
Cocaine, Meth, Opioids All Fuel Rise In Drug-Overdose Deaths
It isn’t just opioids behind a surge in deaths from drug overdoses in the U.S. Death rates from overdoses have been on an exponential-growth curve for nearly 40 years, involving methamphetamines, cocaine and other drugs in shifting patterns around the country and involving different age groups, a new analysis of federal data shows. When use of one drug has declined, another has moved in to fill the void, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health found in the analysis, published Thursday in the journal Science. (Ulick and McKay, 9/20)