This nation has been in the midst of an opioid epidemic for several years, and the situation is not improving. According to a recent report issued by the National Safety Council, rates of opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. are worsening, and only certain states are making progress in this continuing battle. The report outlines which states receive high marks for taking steps to fight the opioid epidemic as well as which ones still have a lot to accomplish.
The Seriousness of the Opioid Epidemic
The National Safety Council just released a report entitled “Prescription Nation 2018.” The agency reveals that not only is this nation’s opioid epidemic not getting better, it is getting worse. In 2016 alone, more than 42,000 people lost their lives in opioid-related overdoses. This equates to 115 people each day.
Even though the opioid crisis was declared a public health emergency by President Donald Trump last year, there simply is not enough being done nationwide to make a difference in these numbers. The NSC took a close look at what individual states are doing to combat the opioid crisis, and some are achieving better results than others.
Which States Are Making Progress in the Opioid Fight?
Since the agency’s 2016 report, only 13 states and the District of Columbia have improved their response to the opioid crisis. When reviewing and evaluating progress, the NSC considered six factors.
- How the states treat opioid overdoses
- The mandating of prescriber education
- Any opioid prescribing guidelines
- An integrated prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP)
- Increased availability of substance abuse treatment
- Methods for data collection and sharing
The states that earned the highest marks from the NSC for improving in several or all of these areas include Arizona, Delaware, Connecticut, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Michigan, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Both Nevada and New Mexico earned perfect scores (“6”) on the assessment, while the rest of the states listed earned a “5.”
States That Received Failing Grades From the NSC
Unfortunately, the NSC gave a failing grade to eight U.S. states after it reviewed the handling of their response to the opioid epidemic. The states that received a score of just “1” or “2” on the NSC’s assessment were Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming. The rest of the U.S. states received either a “3” or “4” and are considered to be lagging in implementing the programs necessary to reduce the numbers of opioid-related overdoses and deaths.
Where You Can Turn for Substance Abuse Treatment
While progress is being made on some fronts, it is not enough. Largely due to the opioid epidemic, the U.S. life expectancy has declined for the second straight year. On an individual level, opioid addiction continues to destroy families. If you or any of your loved ones are struggling with an opioid use disorder, qualified help is available at a Florida substance abuse treatment center.
The Recovery Village provides some of the best options for compassionate and effective opioid addiction treatment in Florida. Our clients have access to the exact treatment and services that will suit their needs, which might include medical detox, medication-assisted therapy, and inpatient or outpatient care.