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U.S. Leads the World in Drug Overdose Deaths

A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows the U.S. more than doubled the premature drug overdose rate of 12 other developed nations between 2001 and 2015. In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control, American drug overdose deaths increased to a record high of nearly 72,000 in 2017 – a 6.6 percent gain over the previous year. That number is higher than the rate of people who died from suicide, AIDS or from flu- and pneumonia-related complications.

While these statistics are troubling, they shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been following the headlines about the ongoing nationwide opioid epidemic. But how did we get here, and what is the solution?

The Drug Overdose Crisis

The drug epidemic has affected people from all walks of life and has spread across the entire nation, from low-income areas to affluent suburban enclaves. For many people, the issue begins when their doctor prescribes them an opioid-based painkiller to manage discomfort after an injury or surgery. Because opioids are so powerfully addictive, even short-term use can leave someone vulnerable to abuse.

Some opioid users who have become dependent on these drugs to feel good, yet cannot get any more through their doctor’s prescription, may turn to illegal means of obtaining a supply. Often, these illegitimately obtained drugs are laced with contaminants or even stronger drugs. These dangerous combinations have sharply increased the risk of accidental drug overdose deaths.

Detox for Drug Overdose

Another inherent risk of long-term drug misuse is that withdrawal symptoms make it extremely challenging – and even dangerous – for someone to quit using these drugs on their own. Quitting these drugs abruptly can cause severe side effects, including pain that is more severe than the reason you started taking medication in the first place.

If you have developed a tolerance for or physical dependency on drugs, you should not try to stop using them without medical supervision and controlled inpatient detox. At a qualified detox center, you can get the help you need to taper off drugs slowly, safely and comfortably and avoid a drug overdose.

Most Drug Overdoses Are Preventable

Accidental drug overdose is currently the leading cause of death in the U.S. among people under 50. The tragedy is that most of these lost lives are entirely within our power to save. There are undeniably many complex causes underlying the nationwide drug overdose crisis, and there is no “magic bullet” for fixing all these issues at once. However, if we, as a nation, genuinely want to find solutions to ending the current crisis, we need to support evidence-based, medically proven harm reduction and treatment interventions.

At Inland Detox, we offer one of the premier drug and alcohol detox programs in Southern California, providing a high standard of care that helps people detox gradually and reduce the risk of relapse. Contact us today to get help.