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The number of drug overdose deaths in the United States is still increasing every month, according to new data, but the pace appears to be slowing. New estimates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics projects that more than 112,000 people died from a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending in May, an increase of more than 2,700 from the previous year. There were 112,024 overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending in May, compared with 109,261 in the 12-month period ending in May 2022, a 2.5% increase. Dr. Katherine Keyes, a professor of...
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Nearly three-quarters of the over 29 million adult Americans who identify as having substance use disorder are in recovery, new federal data shows. This weekend, hundreds of advocates in the field gathered in Washington, D.C. to call for political action and support for people in recovery, who make up a significant percentage of the population of U.S. adults. The parties gathered at Mobilize Recovery, a conference now in its fifth year, hosted by a federal nonprofit organization of the same name. In addition to connecting people in the recovery field to each other, the conference aims to make people in...
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During National Recovery Month, we celebrate the more than 20 million Americans who have had the courage to seek help for substance use disorder, showing millions of others that recovery is possible.  We honor their resilience and recommit to making sure that every American has access to the services and support they need to rebuild lives of purpose and hope. Substance use disorder affects families in every corner of our country.  Drug overdoses last year took more than 100,000 American lives.  Addressing this crisis is a core pillar of my Unity Agenda — one of the big issues we can...
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I’ve been living in recovery from opioid use disorder for eight and a half years, and this might be a weird thing to say about addiction, but I feel lucky—like I dodged a bullet. I was addicted to opioids in Florida throughout the early 2000s, during the heyday of pill mills that flooded the streets with powerful pharmaceuticals like OxyContin. I say I’m lucky because this was just before the drug supply turned into a toxic sludge of potent fentanyl analogues, mysterious tranquilizers, and deadly counterfeit pills. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I were using today....
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The FDA also approved the first generic non-prescription naloxone drug in July 2023. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the second over-the-counter (OTC) naloxone nasal spray product, RiVive (3mg) by non-profit pharmaceutical company Harm Reduction Therapeutics, for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose. This approval follows the agency’s approval of Emergent BioSolutions’ Narcan in March 2023, as the agency has recently increased efforts to address the opioid overdose crisis. The FDA also approved the first generic non-prescription naloxone drug in July 2023. Naloxone reverses opioid overdoses by blocking opioid receptors. Harm Reduction Therapeutics has announced that the drug...
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Believe it or not, an overdose can happen to anyone. Whether you’ve been prescribed pain medication by your doctor, or a loved one is using an illicit substance such as heroin or fentanyl, the risks of an overdose are still present. Several substances that can cause one to overdose include opioids, alcohol, stimulants, and more. In this post, I’ll be diving into the dangers of an opioid overdose and how to stay safe when using opioids.  An overdose can occur when someone uses toxic amounts of a substance which overloads the body or brain, causing them not to function properly....
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Overdose deaths involving illegally manufactured fentanyl laced with xylazine have skyrocketed in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). New CDC data released Thursday showed that between January 2019 and June 2022, the monthly percentage of overdose deaths from fentanyl combined with xylazine increased by 276 percent, from 2.9 percent to 10.9 percent. In the most recent 18 months of data across 31 states and the District of Columbia, the agency said xylazine was detected in 9 percent of fatal overdoses involving illicit fentanyl from January 2021 through June 2022. However, researchers noted the timing and magnitude...
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When Ryan Hampton was recovering from opioid addiction in 2015, he remembers turning on the television at the recovery house where he was staying and seeing something remarkable: A rally, called “Unite to Face Addiction,” drew hundreds of organizations and advocates for people who use drugs to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. “As someone who had less than a year under their belt in recovery at that time, I remember looking at it and saying ‘Wow, isn’t this amazing? This community extends beyond the four walls of the recovery meeting that I go to religiously every night. These people...
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New laws in Minnesota and Vermont understand that allowing people to test their drugs reduces harm—and is a vital public health measure. OVER THE PAST two weeks, Minnesota and Vermont took steps to explicitly legalize, fund, and expand drug-checking resources. These are major developments for drug policy. Tools like mass spectrometers and fentanyl test strips provide people with real-time information about what’s in their drugs, which can help them make more informed decisions and reduce the possibility of an overdose. What’s more, they help public health and harm reduction workers understand what is in the drug supply, a necessary prerequisite for them to respond to crises and...
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Drug overdose deaths in the United States plateaued in 2022 but still topped 100,000 — stark proof that the nation remains in the throes of a staggering crisis killing hundreds of Americans daily. According to provisional data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 105,452 people succumbed to overdoses in 2022, a number poised to increase because of the lag time in reporting deaths by state agencies. The CDC is estimating that number could top 109,000. The death count mirrors 2021, when drugs such as illicit fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine killed more than 107,000 people —...
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