United States of Overconsumption –
July 19, 2019 – “It’s great that it’s moving in the right direction,” says Adam Leventhal, director of the University of Southern California’s Institute for Addiction Science. “It’s important that the public and policymakers recognize that the addiction crisis is unfortunately still alive and well. It’s just shifting.” Prescription opioid painkillers, long blamed as the root of the crisis, are fading as a cause of drug overdose deaths. The CDC reported 12,757 overdose deaths from prescription painkillers in 2018, down from 14,926 deaths in 2017. Four other drug categories – methampetamine and other stimulants, cocaine, heroin and fentanyl – each caused more fatal overdoses last year than opioids such as oxycodone and Vicodin last year, the report said. Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid often sold as a street drug, surpassed prescription opioids in 2015 as the most lethal overdose substance and now is linked to nearly three times as many deaths.