New Study Shows Opioid Epidemic Responsible for 1 in 5 Deaths of Young Adults

Written by Chloe Nicosia

1 in 5 Deaths of Young Adults Caused by Opioid Epidemic, New Study Says

The opioid epidemic has become unavoidable. It now claims roughly 115 lives each day. But recently another worrying statistics has surfaced: according to a new study on the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association, 1 in 5 people aged 24-35 died in 2016 due to opioid overdose. In this article, we will discuss the results of the study and look at what you can do help yourself or a friend in need with addiction treatment.

The Findings

The study on the effects of the opioid epidemic on American’s youth took information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers looked at data surrounding the causes of death in the youth from 2001 to 2016.

From 2001 to 2016, the number of overdose deaths in the youth rose from 0.4 percent to 1.5 percent. This equates to an increase of 292% in just 15 years. The age group that had the highest opioid overdose deaths was aged 24 to 35. Within this group, 20 percent of lives lost were attributed to the opioid epidemic.

Many studies thus far have focused on the impact of the opioid epidemic among the middle-aged population. However, this study reveals that in fact the younger population is the most affected age group. A further finding that supports this assumption is that 12.4 percent of deaths in people aged 15 to 24 were as a result of opioid abuse and overdose.

Moving Forward

Researchers in the study suggested that without targeted treatment campaigns and policies aimed at the 15 to 34 age group, the situation is expected to escalate. Tara Gomes, a St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto researcher, said that she hopes that the fact that one in five of the deaths in the youth and young adults are opioid related cause people to stop and realize just how impactful the current opioid crisis really is.

Even when faced with the overall statistics for opioid abuse deaths, the true scope of the problem should become clear: an astounding 1.5 percent of deaths in the U.S. are now caused by opioid abuse. This is about 1 in every 65 people, which is up from 1 in 255 people in 2001. In 2016, the opioid crisis was responsible for more lives lost than pneumonia, HIV/AIDS and high blood pressure.

Opioid Addiction Treatment

If you are worried about your current abuse of opioids, or are concerned that someone close to you may have become hooked on the dangerous drug, then addiction treatment is the best solution.

Opioid addiction treatment involves a detoxification, behavioral therapy, addiction education and the teaching of relapse prevention skills. It is also possible to be given medications that can amplify the effectiveness of treatment.

Initially, detox symptoms can be extreme and often cause people to seek relief by relapsing. However, a medical detox program is able to provide important medications that can greatly assist with the process of breaking a physical dependence. Much of these medications can be used throughout treatment and even months after leaving rehab to help stop a person from relapsing. Of course, these medications must go alongside other treatment.

Behavioral therapy, relapse prevention skills and learning about the science of addiction further help a person to improve a person’s quality of life and avoid substance abuse.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.