health day reporter
Friday, July 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) – Expert predictions Opioids Overdoses are on the rise in both rural and urban areas due to the deadly practice of mixing highly addictive narcotics with other drugs.
Researchers from Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, who studied trends and used predictive models to determine where deaths will escalate, say the coming wave of opioid overdoses “will be worse than ever.”
“I sounded the alarm because, for the first time, there was a convergence and escalation of acceleration rates in every type of rural and urban county,” said corresponding author Lori Post. She is director of the Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
“Not only is opioid mortality at an all-time high, but this acceleration in mortality heralds explosive exponential growth that exceeds even the all-time highs that have been reached,” Post said in a Northwestern University news release.
For the study, researchers used data from 3,147 counties and county-equivalent areas from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WONDER database to examine geographic trends in opioid deaths between 1999 and 2020.
The team sought to determine whether geography was associated with past waves and to theorize any upcoming waves.
Study finds opioids excess In 2020, deaths in rural areas rose faster than in cities. Between 2019 and 2020, the overdose death rate rose for the first time in six categories of urban and rural counties, Post said.
“Our escalation rate is the highest in the U.S. for the first time, and this fourth wave is going to be worse than ever,” Post explained. “It would mean mass death.”
The research team examined toxicology reports and found that people were using Fentanyl (a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than opioids) morphine) and carfentanil, a synthetic opioid that is approximately 100 times more potent than fentanyl methamphetamine and cocaine.
This deadly cocktail can make it harder to save someone who has taken an overdose of reversal drugs such as Naloxone.
“The stronger the drug, the more difficult it is to recover a person,” explained study co-author Alexander Lundberg, Feinberg Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine. “The use of multiple substances complicates an already dire situation.”
Post said: “Those who die from opioid overdose seem to have been acting as pharmacists and trying to manage their own doses. It’s a bigger problem because there are people who abuse cocaine and methamphetamine and opioids. , so you have to treat two things at the same time, and fentanyl is very volatile.”
The study authors say solutions could include methadone Center that provides drug-assisted anti-addiction treatment. These are more common in urban areas. There are no drug-assisted treatment options in rural areas, Post said, adding that what works in big cities may not be as useful in rural areas.
“Nobody wants to be a drug addict. It’s okay if you take it Percos Because you broke your back while mining, or you were a high school student and died because they got into grandma’s medicine cabinet. We need immediate research into opioid addiction and overdose prevention,” Post said.
“The only way forward is to raise awareness about the prevention of opioid use disorder and to provide culturally appropriate and stigma-free medication-assisted treatment in rural communities,” she added.
The findings were published online July 28 in JAMA Network Open .
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services learns more about the opioid epidemic.
Source: Northwestern Medicine, press release, July 28, 2022