December 29, 2017 – Health officials have determined that the ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States was the top news story of 2017.
The effects of the crisis are widespread, reports HealthDay. In 2016, another surge in drug overdose deaths was reported and most of those overdoses involved opioids. Analysis showed that the overdose deaths are the leading factor for the two-year decline in the U.S. life expectancy. Earlier this year, the federal government declared the epidemic a public health emergency.
Still, an addiction expert offered a reminder that a turnaround was possible:
“It’s important to remember these deaths are preventable,” said Lindsey Vuolo, associate director of health law and policy with the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.
“If we start treating addiction the way we treat other diseases, with a health-based approach funded at a level commensurate with the size and scope of the problem, we will overcome this crisis,” Vuolo told HealthDay.
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Read the full story from Web MD.