24 Dec Drug Overdoses Rise among Young Adults in the U.S.
According to the Trust for America’s Health report, drug overdose deaths among teens and young adults have increased rapidly in the US. The death rate due to drug overdose has increased exponentially among people between the ages of 12 to 25, in the past decade. It has risen from 3.1 deaths per 100,000 in 1999-2001 to 7.3 deaths in 2011-2013.
According to Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health (a non-profit health advocacy group), the deaths are increasing due to a strong correlation with the nation’s epidemic of prescription drug abuse, and a subsequent rise in heroin use. Both of these epidemics extremely correlate with the drastic increase in deaths. The toll of deaths from drug overdose is increasing in specific corners of the nation. The report shows West Virginia with the highest rate of drug overdoses. While North Dakota appeared to have the lowest.
According to the Trust’s new “Reducing Teen Substance Misuse: What Really Works” publication of 2013, prescription painkillers, such as Vicodin and OxyContin were mainly responsible for most of the drug overdoses, resulting in 22,700 deaths overall. Many young adults who were using prescription drugs switched to heroin because it’s cheaper and more easily accessible.
“About 45% of people who use heroin are also addicted to painkillers.”
The drug overdose death rate for young adults between 19-25 years old is 12.7% per 100,000, whereas for kids 12-18 years of age, the death rates are 1.6% per 100,000.
The unexpected jump in death rates in these two age groups is really dramatic, according to Levi. These stats raise the need for early drug intervention to prevent kids from drug abuse and addiction.
According to Brian Bumbarger, founding director of the Evidence-based Prevention and Intervention Support Center at Penn State University, these stats highlight the flaws in current substance abuse policies.
Alexa Eggleston, a senior program officer of domestic programs for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, funded a new report about today’s anti-drug policies that mainly focuses on high school kids. More than 90% of adults, who are addicted, start using substances before they reach 18 years of age.
According to Eggleston, the real key to sustaining a sober life in the US is to address the root cause of drug abuse and support the well being of young adults.
This report brings in notice the flaws of substance abuse policies in the US. America should change its strategy from drug intervention to drug prevention and help promote sober living.
A change needs to be made because more and more young adults are becoming addicted to substances, especially opiates. If a loved one is addicted, please seek help from a reputable treatment center. There are various non-profitable or profitable organizations in New York that are providing recovery treatments to youths. You can also enroll your loved one into a sober living home that offers an exceptional addiction recovery curriculum.