The opioid epidemic continues to grip the nation as it leaves millions of families bereft at the premature loss of their young loved ones. Now more than ever, young adults and teens are falling victim opioid use, including prescription drugs and heroin. Opioid addiction is the silent killer of thousands of Americans every day. According to a study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, fatalities from drug overdoses for people between the ages of 15 to 24 climbed by nearly 20% from 2006 to 2015. In less than 10 years, these rates skyrocketed to 36,422 fatalities--an unparalleled amount.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Bina Ali, spoke of this frighteningly steep increase and surge of opioid overdoses amongst young people. She spoke of the data uncovered in the study: “The surge in drug poisoning deaths among adolescents and young adults reflects the ease of access to pharmaceutical drugs, especially prescription opioids and later transition to more potent opioids.”
Studies show young people are typically introduced to opioids through prescriptions. The former CEO of Rochester Drug Cooperative was indicted on criminal charges and the federal government reached a $20 million settlement over this crisis. Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, is also the subject of thousands of cases across the nation.
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