Drug Addiction is A National Epidemic

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~ President Trump Declares Opioid Epidemic Worst Drug Crisis in America ~ 

The president calls the opioid epidemic, which kills nearly 100 people a day in the U.S., a "public health emergency."

To read further into President Trumps' declaration on the war on drugs. You may visit the following links.

Thomas Synan Jr.

~ President Donald J. Trump is Taking Action on Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis ~
"The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don’t start, they won't have a problem."
President Donald J. Trump
Image result for picture of trump discussing drug epidemic
* Trumps Commission Panel for the drug epidemic
Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their lives to drug abuse, and it will only get worse unless action is taken. 

In 2016, more than two million Americans had an addiction to prescription or illicit opioids.
Since 2000, over 300,000 Americans have died from overdoses involving opioids.
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury death in the United States, outnumbering both traffic crashes and gun-related deaths.
In 2015, there were 52,404 drug overdose deaths — 33,091 of those deaths, almost two-thirds, involved the use of opioids.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, the national age-adjusted rate of opioid overdose deaths in 2015 was 10.4 deaths per 100,000 Americans.
  • The situation has only gotten worse, with drug overdose deaths in 2016 expected to exceed 64,000.
  • This represents a rate of 175 deaths a day.
  • This exceeds the number of Americans killed during the Vietnam War.

The rise in overdose deaths is largely due to the proliferation of illicitly made fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid, and fentanyl analogs.
In 2016, more than 11.5 million Americans ages 12 and older reported misuse of prescription opioids in the past year, and nearly 950,000 Americans reported heroin use in the past year.

In 2014, the number of babies born drug-dependent had increased by 500 percent since 2000, and children being placed in foster care due in part to parental drug abuse is going up — now it is almost a third of all child removals.

A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY: President Donald J. Trump is mobilizing his entire Administration to address drug addiction and opioid abuse by directing the declaration of a Nationwide Public Health Emergency to address the opioids crisis.

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~ Twin Plagues: Meth Rises in Shadow of Opioids ~
America can't quit its meth habit.

NBC News sheds light on the rise in the meth epidemic and how it is reaching the heights of the opioid crisis in the U.S.

After a brief lull caused by a crackdown on domestic manufacturing techniques, the highly addictive stimulant is blooming across the country again, this time in the shadows of the opioid epidemic.

Because meth kills slowly, and at lower rates, it isn't getting the attention that many researchers, law enforcement officials and health workers say it deserves. They worry it will eventually overwhelm the country as heroin, fentanyl and prescription painkillers have.
Some states are fighting both epidemics at once.

Meth Cases in Wisconsin More than Tripled in 10 Years
Prevalence of the drug increased across rural areas of the state:
      2010             2011                  2012               2013                2014               2015             2016            May, 2017
   0              15            30             45            60            75           90
 Cases by year by county. 
Heroin Use Rose in Metro Areas at a Pace Comparable to Meth

Cases are concentrated in Milwaukee and surrounding metropolitan areas:
       2010             2011                  2012               2013                2014               2015             2016            May, 2017
   0              15            30             45            60            75           90
Cases by year by county. 

"All of a sudden, it's everywhere again," Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said.
Schimel commissioned a study of meth in his state, which estimated that its use had jumped by at least 250 percent since 2011, a pace that could overtake heroin. "We are entering another full-blown epidemic with meth," he said.

Ohio, a focal point of the opioid epidemic, is also battling a meth resurgence, particularly in rural areas, authorities have said. Reports indicate the same happening in Texas, Montana, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Iowa and South Dakota.

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~ The family behind America’s opioid crisis: New York and London socialites who developed OxyContin made BILLIONS off of the drug’s skyrocketing sales despite claims of false advertising that labelled it as LESS addictive than other painkillers
Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the company responsible for the creation of the powerful opioid OxyContin, was created and owned by the Sackler family ~

The company allegedly advertised OxyContin as a safe drug that was unlikely to be habit-forming, but is now known to be incredibly addictive
The Sackler family made billions of dollars from the sale of OxyContin, and Purdue Pharmaceuticals is valued at at least $13 billion as of 2016
In 2007, an affiliated company was ordered to pay $600 million in one of the largest pharmaceutical settlements in history for 'felony misbranding'
OxyContin sales still soared, and the  US government considers the nation's dependence on the drug a public health emergency; more than 200 states, cities and counties have filed suit against pharma companies 
Purdue has now stated it will stop promoting opioid drugs to doctors and halve its sales force; company representatives will no longer visit doctors’ offices to advertise the addictive drugs
The brothers who founded the pharmaceutical empire - Arthur, Mortimer and Raymond - are all dead, but many of their children were serving on the board of Cambridge sister company Napp Pharmaceuticals in 2016
Members of the Sackler family are known for their philanthropy - particularly supporting the arts - have remained quiet about the widespread scourge of opioid addiction; they are fabulously wealthy 
Elizabeth Sackler,  daughter of eldest founder Arthur, told DailyMail.com that neither she, her siblings nor children benefited from Purdue or Oxycontin, saying: 'It's another branch of the family' 
The Sackler brothers represented America’s wildest dream: three Brooklyn-born sons of Jewish immigrants who became physicians and went on to found a pharmaceutical dynasty that is today worth more than $13 billion.

The family used their fortune to invest in the arts and philanthropy, with Sackler wings at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Louvre in Paris – to name just a few. The Sackler name, however, is conspicuously missing from anything associated with their main source of income, Purdue Pharmaceuticals and its related companies, or its billion dollar product: OxyContin. You won’t find them on the company’s logo, on their bottle labels, or even on their website.

For years, the Sacklers' company billed OxyContin as a safer alternative to morphine. This led to rampant over-prescription of the drug, which has created a snowball effect of addiction to opioid-based painkillers, according to critics, essentially kick-starting the modern epidemic President Trump has labelled as a public health emergency.

More than 200 US states, cities and counties have filed lawsuits against Purdue Pharma for criminal misbranding of the drug. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared war against Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies for their roles in creating a generation of addicts – and is seeking $500 million in damages he says the city needs to climb out of the hole Oxycontin has created.
Meanwhile, overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 – greater than gun violence and car accidents combined – and has devastated families across the country.
The onslaught of legal action prompted Purdue last week to stop promoting opioid drugs to doctors and halve its sales force; company representatives will no longer visit doctors’ offices to advertise the addictive drugs.

Four years after OxyContin debuted, annual revenue was more than $1 billion, and sales continued to climb. Even after the dramatic $600 million settlement in 2007 in which Purdue apologized and admitted to federal misbranding, sales peaked in 2010   

Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total "economic burden" of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.
Word cloud with Opioids and NIH prominent

How did this happen?

In the late 1990's, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. This subsequently led to widespread diversion and misuse of these medications before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive. Opioid overdose rates began to increase. In 2015, more than 33,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. That same year, an estimated 2 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, and 591,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder (not mutually exclusive). Here is what we know about the opioid crisis:
  • Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
  • Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.
  • An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.
  • About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.

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~ Understanding the Opioid Crisis ~

In the late 1990's, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates.
Increased prescription of opioid medications led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.
In 2017 HHS declared a public health emergency and announced a 5-Point Strategy To Combat the Opioid Crisis

Opioid Crisis
Devastating consequences of the opioid epidemic include increases in opioid misuse and related overdoses, as well as the rising incidence of newborns experiencing withdrawal syndrome due to opioid use and misuse during pregnancy.

Opioids Information Graphic, link to accessible version follows
Understanding the Scope of the Epidemic

Opioid Overdose
Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 deaths in 2016, more than any previous year on record. An estimated 40% of opioid overdose deaths involved a prescription opioid.

Why do Adults Misuse Prescription Drugs?
Policymakers can use this information from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to help inform substance abuse prevention and treatment needs in their communities.

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