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1 in 5 Young Adult Deaths from Opioids

World News Desk

1 in 5 Young Adult Deaths from Opioids

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One out of every five deaths among U.S. adults ages 24-35 is related to opioids, according to a study led by researchers in Toronto, Canada.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open and led by St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, found that the percentage of deaths attributable to opioids in the U.S. increased by 292 percent from 2001 to 2016.

The overall rate of death related to opioids for all age groups was 1 in 65, and men represented nearly 70 percent of fatalities. However, all age groups, genders and demographics experienced increased rates of opioid deaths during the same group of years.

“Increased rates of opioid prescribing and the associated negative health consequences have emerged as leading public health problems in North America, particularly among young and middle-aged adults,” the report stated. “By 2014, Canada and the United States had the highest per capita opioid consumption in the world, and deaths related to opioid use have increased dramatically in both countries.”

In 2016, more than 42,000 Americans died from overdosing on opioids, including illicit heroin and fentanyl as well as prescription painkillers, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This toll has more than doubled from less than 20,000 deaths in 2006.

Dr. Tara Gomes, lead author of the report, stated that without a national approach that involves “access to treatment, harm reduction and education, this crisis will impact the U.S. for generations.”


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