The beginning of 2022 proved that the number of deaths due to overdose has managed to surpass even the deaths due to firearms in the United States. It’s not like the public isn’t aware of what is happening in the country but big numbers hardly ever make sense without context.
And the numbers are pretty big, according to the latest data from CDC or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These data will prove that the number of deaths in the United States due to overdose on prescription drugs is relatively more than deaths from diseases, war, and even accidents.
The American Dream: We Have A Problem, A Drug Problem
The American Dream has the power to sway the best of us. What started in the California Gold Rush of 1849 later developed into a dream, the American Dream. While more and more people rushed towards the lucrative dream, artists began to paint the futility of the same. And drugs formed a big part of this movement.
Fitzgerald used alcohol intoxication and abuse as one of the primary themes of The Great Gatsby, Hunter Thompson wrote an entire novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas based on the effects of psychedelics. And this was just fiction. Drugs were not just a mind-altering substance for creating art, it was a way of life in the United States, amidst Prohibition days.
The Lost Generation refers to the post world war generation, a generational cohort of sorts. The term also referred to artists establishing their reputation in the 1920s, known for their debauchery and disillusionment. From Ernest Hemingway to F.Scott Fitzgerald, this group of writers made sure that the world knew the realities of the American Dream. And both alcohol as well as drugs formed a big part of the culture.
It’s 2022, neither the lure of the American Dream, nor the number of deaths due to drug overdose has decreased. In fact, the numbers show that there has been a huge increase. Let’s check out the numbers before moving on.
Overdose Deaths: America’s Own Domestic Problem
- During March 2020 to April 2021, there were as many as 100,306 deaths from drug overdose alone, in the United States.
- The new data was shocking because it pointed out an increase in the number of deaths from 78,056 deaths, only a year ago (March 2019 to April 2020). The increase in percentage was 28.5% in this case.
- While deaths from opioid overdose increased from 56,064 to 75,673 over a period of twelve months, deaths from psychostimulants like methamphetamine and synthetic opioids like fentanyl also witnessed a massive rise during the same period.
According to the data provided by CDC, the number of deaths from prescription drug overdose has not just increased but even the rate of increment is pretty high. The numbers are evidence to point out that drug overdose has become America’s domestic problem, in immediate need of a solution.
Did The Government Just Look Up?
When President Biden finally outlined his policies on prescription drugs overdose issue in March 2022, the entire country breathed a sigh of relief. Biden’s administration is working on the addiction epidemic in the country and for the first time, this movement has brought sections of Republicans and Democrats together for the first time in modern history.
Here are some more devastating data related to prescription drugs and overdose obtained from the official website of The White House,
- It was found more than 40.3 million Americans who are twelve or older are victims of substance use disorders from the past year.
- It was also found that four out of every five Americans do not even have access to proper treatment in case of addiction.
- By September 2021, a whopping 104,000 Americans had succumbed to tragic deaths due to drug overdose.
- Methadone and buprenorphine are the best medicines for Opium use disorders but most Americans have no access to the same which also contributes to the overdose problem.
These numbers are certainly shocking, if not devastating, enough to make the Government finally take note of what’s happening behind all the glitz and glamor. Biden’s drug regulation policies are vast, encompassing more than ever witnessed before in US history.
Let’s check out the top drug-regulatory priorities from the Biden-Harris administration!
- Biden’s FY2022 budget has made an almost historic request for a solid 41 billion dollars, in order to curb the addiction epidemic in the United States.
- A proposal on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services was made for 10.7 billion dollars. This was done for funding prevention, research, recovery, and support for recovering addicts.
- Another proposal for 5.8 billion dollars was made. This was done for funding regulatory steps to reduce availability and accessibility of illicit drugs in the United States.
- The current Federal drug regulatory policies are now based on creating a supportive community built on trust. For the first time, services related to harm reduction are being introduced by the Biden-Harris administration.
The above mentioned policies are only a few in the long list of changes introduced by the Biden-Harris administration. It is perhaps to say that the overdose deaths have reached an all time high and for the first time in the history of the United States, the government has sat up straight, taking note of what’s important.
After all, the number of deaths from prescription drugs overdose is more than any other probable cause of death. So it was about time, the government took notice of the same.
Hitting Too Close To Home: Only Solution
With all the amount of money proposed as investments by Biden’s administration, we can only hope for the best. Once recovering addicts, especially cocaine and opioids, get access to the medication they require for getting better, things will automatically improve.
Moreover, the policies to improve accessibility of medication over illicit drugs is probably going to prove effective in the long run.
Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts on prescription drugs and related overdose deaths in the comments below!