Overdoses Involving Fentanyl Surpasses Deaths From Prescription Opioids
"We have been very focused on the threat of prescription opioid overdose deaths, and this paper shows us that we need to remain vigilant about the ever shifting nature of the crisis," said Emily Einstein, a health science policy analyst at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Los Angeles Times:
If You're Worried About Prescription Opioids, You Should Be Really Scared Of Fentanyl
The U.S. opioid crisis has passed a dubious milestone: Overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids like illicit fentanyl have surpassed deaths involving prescription opioids. This switch occurred in 2016, according to data published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. And it seemed to happen pretty suddenly. Data from the National Vital Statistics System show that there were 42,249 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016. That includes 19,413 that involved synthetic opioids, 17,087 that involved prescription opioids and 15,469 that involved heroin. (In some cases, more than one type of drug was implicated in the death.) (Kaplan, 5/1)
In other news on the crisis —
Fentanyl Blamed For Apparent Overdoses That Killed California Prisoner, Sickened Others
The narcotic suspected of killing an inmate and sickening 12 other prisoners at Mule Creek State Prison last month was fentanyl, tests conducted by the state Attorney General's office have found. The apparent overdoses took place at the state lockup in Ione (Amador County) on April 21 and 22. (Goldberg, 5/1)
Ventura County Star:
Grand Jury Says More Should Be Spent On Opioid Abuse Prevention.
Leaders of Ventura County’s drug and alcohol prevention program should consider spending more on opioid abuse prevention and less on drug treatment services, according to a Ventura County Grand Jury report. The grand jury cited the $7.1 million budgeted for narcotics treatment and the $2.4 million budgeted for prevention services in the drug and alcohol program administered by the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department. Calling the funding disproportionate, the grand jury recommended that agency officials consider reworking the mix. (Kisken, 5/1)