The opioid epidemic we are in the midst of in the United States is enough to scare most straight. Some parts of the country have been hit harder than others with the issue. In efforts to fight against the deadly epidemic U.S. health officials are giving $350 million to researchers in four specific states that have been affected the heaviest.
A study announced yesterday is aiming to cut overdose deaths by 40% or more over the next three years in communities struggling with the abuse of the addictive drugs. Researchers will study evidence-based techniques utilized to fight addiction and overdoses. These techniques include medication-based treatments and criminal justice reform.
The grants are coming from the National Institutes of Health. They plan to disperse the funds between the University of Kentucky, Boston Medical Center, Columbia University and our very own, Ohio State University.
Government officials across the nation have been fighting a multi-decade epidemic of opioid addiction. These addictions include not only prescription painkillers, but also illicit drugs like heroin and fentanyl. Deaths linked to those drugs rose to a record 48,000 in 2017.
In Ohio, opioid overdoses kill an average of 7 people every day. Since 2007, accidental drug overdoses have exceeded car crashes as the leading cause of unintended deaths in Ohio. A significant rise in fentanyl related overdose deaths has been occurring. These deaths more than doubled between 2015 and 2016, and has since continued to grow.
For more information on this crisis and to find treatment providers, contact the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Follow this link to learn more.