Prescription Opioids Overdoses Are Still At Epidemic Levels According to DEA

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently released the results of its 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA). The NDTA outlines the threats the United States faces in regard to domestic and international drug trafficking, as well as the abuse of illicit drugs.

Key findings from the report cover controlled prescription drug abuse, as well as heroin, fentanyl, and other synthetic opioids. The report points out that drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States – outstripping firearms, car accidents, suicide, and homicide. The United States is seeing overdose deaths at higher rates than ever before in history at approximately 140 deaths per day.

In fact, the largest percentage of these overdose deaths are from the abuse of controlled prescription drugs. This report outlines users of heroin, cocaine, heroine, MDMA, methamphetamine, PCP and users of controlled prescription drugs outnumbers the rest combined.

Key findings from this report include:

  • Heroin use and overdose deaths are still high and continuing to rise. An increasing trend of mixing fentanyl with heroin has worsened the situation. In fact, fentanyl is increasing mixed with diluents and sold as heroin when there is no actual heroin present in the mixture.
  • Methamphetamine use continues in a steady trend, while the production of domestic meth has seen a decline.
  • Cocaine use continues to increase as availability has risen. The primary source of cocaine in the United States is sourced from Colombia.

This report issued from the DEA is a stark reminder that the opioid crisis is still in mid-swing as over 100 people die each day from overdosing. The opioid epidemic should not be underestimated.