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Study: 24% More Opioid Deaths Than Once Thought

Image: Study: 24% More Opioid Deaths Than Once Thought
(AP Photo/Chris Post)

By    |   Monday, 07 Aug 2017 05:18 PM

The opioid crisis that has afflicted the nation is actually worse than once reported, according to the results of a new study.

Dr. Christopher Ruhm conducted a University of Virginia study that uncovered worrisome numbers in the battle of addiction in the United States.

Key results from the study:

  • The number of opioid deaths between 2008 and 2014 was 24 percent higher than originally reported.
  • The number of heroin overdoses was 22 percent higher than reported.
  • Pennsylvania had the largest increase in the data, with 9.2 percent more deaths occurring in the latest study.
  • 7.3 percent more people died of opioid and heroin overdoses in Indiana than was first reported.
  • In Louisiana, 7 percent more people died of opioid and heroin overdoses than was first reported.
  • There were 36,450 fatal overdoses in 2008 and 47,055 in 2014 in the U.S.

"My message to members of a presidential commission would be that getting the most accurate statistics possible is a crucial first step towards developing policies aimed at stemming the fatal drug epidemic," Ruhm told NBC News. "This is particularly important when we have scarce funds to allocate and so would want to target them at the hardest hit areas."

A recent government study, meanwhile, found that more than one third of U.S. adults were prescribed opioids in 2015, which experts say contributed to the problem of drug usage in America.

Public schools in Akron, Ohio recently began stocking a drug that can revive people who have overdosed on opioids.

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The opioid crisis that has afflicted the nation is actually worse than once reported, according to the results of a new study.
opioid crisis, deaths, study, worse
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2017-18-07
Monday, 07 Aug 2017 05:18 PM
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