One-fifth of deaths among young American adults are related to opioids, according to a new study.
Between 2001 and 2016, the number of deaths related to opioids more than quadrupled, HealthDay reports.
One in 65 deaths nationwide was related to an opioid overdose in 2016, the researchers report in JAMA Open Network.
“Despite the amount of attention that has been placed on this public health issue, we are increasingly seeing the devastating impact that early loss of life from opioids is having across the United States,” said lead researcher Dr. Tara Gomes of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. “In the absence of a multidisciplinary approach to this issue that combines access to treatment, harm reduction and education, this crisis will impact the U.S. for generations.”
How to Use Naloxone to Reverse Opioid Overdose and Save Lives
A variety of drugs and drug combinations carry the risk of fatal overdose. Emergency protocol for any suspected overdose includes calling 911. However, in the case of opioids, which includes heroin and prescription pain medications like Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet, naloxone (also known by the brand name Narcan) can reverse an overdose, potentially saving a loved one’s life.