Majority of overdoses not from prescribed drugs

Opioids responsible for 1 out of every 4 deaths in Mass. youth – Boston Business Journal – Sep 16, 2016 – Jessica Bartlett

Always remember that “opioids” includes both legitimate and stolen or illegal drugs, including heroin.

State data, which looked at deaths from 2013 to 2014, showed that individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 and those recently released from prison are at a higher risk of overdose, findings that could shape public policy moving forward.

We are hopeful that new information will help us better understand the contours of this public health crisis as we continue to work on prevention, education and treatment in our communities to combat the opioid crisis in the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Charlie Baker in a statement.

I have some “un-expert” common sense advice untainted by any financial interests, political ambitions, or popularity contests:   

  1. Admit prescribed opioid medication is not what’s driving this “crisis”.
  2. Stop the harassment and expensive monitoring of  legitimate doctors and patients who are dealing with a severe medical problem.
  3. Instead of lamenting the consequences of addiction (overdose), provide effective addiction recovery services to help addicts unhook themselves from whatever substance has caught them up in addiction.

The findings also showed that though doctors have taken the heat for prescribing opioids and potentially leading patients to become addicted, majority of overdoses are not from prescribed drugs.

This is obvious to pain patients but seems to be a startling new fact to many who have already made rules against prescribed drugs

In fact, 85 percent of all the fatal opioid overdoses from 2013 to 2014 were caused by heroin or fentanyl, a type of pain medication that is 100 times more powerful than morphine. Only 9 percent of overdoses were from prescription opioids.

And most of those “prescription opioids” are illicitly acquired, not prescribed for the user.

“While prescription drug use can result in addiction and may increase the long-term risk of death, illegal drugs appear more likely to be the direct cause of death,” the report states.

This article, from a business publication, is not involved in the moral battles about opioids but rather provides facts that translate into money for investors. Since money can be measured, forecasting models can be evaluated and corrected – unlike statements about pain and the opioid “crisis”.

Some would say that “facts that translate into money” reflect the only reliable truth these days, and I’m beginning to think that may be correct. To find the root of any issue, just follow the money and see who is profiting from it.


3 thoughts on “Majority of overdoses not from prescribed drugs

    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      At least it’s becoming more and more obvious that there’s very little connection between pain patients’ medications and heroin overdoses. I think the numbers will eventually become impossible to ignore and the CDC will end up looking quite silly.

      Liked by 1 person


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