According to new projections from a team of scientists working with the FDA, the opioid crisis will worsen in the next ten years, claiming more than a half-million additional lives.
In the last 23 years, opioids have killed 650,000 Americans.
What is particularly disturbing about this new projection is the fact that the number of people misusing opioids or heroin is declining. So why the massive jump in deaths?
The reason is simple. The risk of an overdose—particularly for those using heroin—has increased dramatically due to the spread of fentanyl.
How did researchers arrive at their projection of overdose deaths? They did it by using a proprietary computer simulation called SOURCE (Simulation of Opioid Use, Response, Consequences, and Effects).
Can anything be done to prevent this carnage?
The research team, led by Dr. Mohammad Jalali, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, believes their model has uncovered three strategies to reduce opioid overdose deaths by approximately 100,000. Those strategies include:
- Reducing fentanyl harm by limiting the number of people exposed to tainted drugs, particularly heroin.
- Increasing naloxone distribution.
- Expanding recovery support for people in remission from opioid use disorder (OUD), the group at highest risk of overdose.
According to Jalali and his team, “recovery support strategies have among the largest effects on lives saved.”
At Aware Recovery Care, we’ve seen how dramatically comprehensive recovery support dramatically reduces drug and alcohol use while improving the odds of long-term recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care gives clients a significantly better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. Please get in touch with one of our Recovery Specialists to learn more.