Joseph Conte PhD, Executive Director of Staten Island Performing Provider System, writes for Hospital Times on how the opioid phenomenon has evolved in the US and ways in which the challenge has been effectively met by an innovative provider system.
“In the US today, two million individuals are dependent on prescription opioids. In just the last two years over 100,000 people have died from an overdose, a rate six times higher than in 1999. That equates to 130 deaths every day.
Most of the increases in overdose deaths over the last three years involve heroin and are related to the surge in the mixing of heroin with illicit fentanyl. The pressure on Emergency Rooms (A&Es) and ambulance and police services are extraordinary, as are the associated costs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, from 1999 to 2017, a staggering 700,000 people died from a drug overdose, with 70 per cent associated with opioid misuse. The trends listed below reveal a shocking trajectory of the problem.”