Personal Injury Blog

Drug overdoses

The Number One Killer of People Under 50 Years of Age is Drug Overdose

A new study has discovered that the primary cause of death for Americans under the age of 50 is a disturbing one—drug overdoses. In fact, more Americans are suffering from fatal overdoses now than at any other time in recent history.

The New York Times recently reported that its analysis of both county and state death records revealed that approximately 62,000 people died from drug-related overdoses in 2016. That’s a 19 percent increase from the previous year, a significant jump.

The increase in overdoses is likely caused by the raging opioid epidemic, the investigators suggested. The opioid epidemic’s effects are felt the most in Ohio. Last year, overdose deaths increased by 25 percent in that state.

Dr. Tom Frieden, a former United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, commented, “It is the only aspect of American health that’s getting worse.”

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 2 million people are probably addicted to opioids. An additional 95 million used prescription opioids in the previous year.

According to the Times piece, Fentanyl has been tied to an increasing amount of drug-induced seizures in the last year. Fentanyl is a strong, highly addictive opioid that is used to treat severe pain.

Interestingly, deaths in the West Coast may have dropped because heroin in that part of the United States is different than heroin in the eastern United States. In the eastern part of the country, powdered heroin is primarily used. In the west, however, black tar heroin is popular.

In Philadelphia, fatal drug overdoses have risen steadily—from approximately 300 in 2010 to more than 500 in 2015. In San Francisco, however, deadly overdoses have remained under 200 for more than three decades.

In Arizona, the governor has declared a state of emergency due to the recent increase in heroin and prescription painkiller overdoses. Governor Doug Ducey said, “Most of us know someone impacted by substance abuse—our family, our friends, our neighbors. Our hearts ache for them, but that isn’t enough. We must do more.”

In some jurisdictions, lawsuits have been filed against both physicians that prescribed opioid substances and the manufacturers that distributed them to consumers. Some lawsuits allege that physicians were receiving financial incentives to prescribe the drugs and that pharmaceutical companies were misleading about the addictive nature of opioids.

Call New Jersey personal injury firm Leonard Legal Group if opioid use caused your injuries

Whether you were injured by someone driving under the influence of opioids, or a doctor prescribed a loved one unnecessary painkillers, contact Leonard Legal Group today to learn about your legal options. To schedule a free consultation, call 973-984-1414 or contact us online.