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Opioid Overdose Wave Expected to Hit Rural and Urban U.S. Areas

by Cara Murez Health Day Reporter
Health Day Reporter

Friday, July 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) – Experts Opioid overdoses are predicted to be climbing in both rural and urban areas due to the deadly practice of mixing highly addictive narcotics with other drugs.

Coming wave Researchers from Northwestern Medicine in Chicago study trends and use predictive models to determine where deaths will be upgrade.

“I sounded the alarm because for the first time, every type of rural and urban county appeared Convergence and escalation of acceleration rates,” 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 the opioid death rate at an all-time high, but the acceleration in that death rate portends an explosive exponential growth, even surpassing all-time highs,” Post said at a Northwest news conference.

In this study, the study The researchers used data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WONDER database of 3,147 counties and county-equivalent regions to study geographic trends in opioid deaths between 1999 and 2020.

The team is trying to determine if geography is related to past waves and theorize any upcoming waves.

Opioid overdose deaths escalate faster in rural areas than in cities in 2020, study finds. From 2019 to 2020, the overdose death rate rose for the first time in six urban and rural counties, Post said.

“We have the highest escalation rate in the US for the first time, and this fourth wave will be worse than ever, ‘ Post explained. “It would mean mass deaths.”

The research team examined toxicology reports and found that people were using fentanyl (a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine) and carfentanil (a synthetic opioid about 100 times more potent than fentanyl) in combination with methamphetamine and cocaine use.

This deadly cocktail can make it harder to save someone who has taken an overdose of reversal drugs like naloxone.

“The stronger the drug, the harder it is to revive a person,” said Feinberg, co-author of the study. explained Alexander Lundberg, assistant professor of clinical medicine. “Multi-substance use complicates an already dire situation,”

Post said, People with drug overdoses have been playing 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 both, and fentanyl Nitrogen is extremely volatile.”

Solutions may include methadone centers, which provide drug-assisted anti-drug 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. If you take Percocet because you broke your back while mining, or you It doesn’t matter that a high school student died because they got into grandma’s medicine cabinet. We need to look into opioid addiction and overdose prevention immediately,” Post said.

“The only way forward is to raise awareness of prevention awareness of opioid use disorder and providing culturally appropriate and stigma-free medication-assisted treatment in rural communities,” she added.

The survey results were published online on July 28 in JAMA Network Open .

More information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services learns more about the opioid epidemic.

SOURCE: Northwestern Medicine, Press Release, July 28, 2022



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