CDC: US Opioid Crisis Getting Worse - "We Have An Emergency On Our Hands"

Across the United States, government officials are struggling to combat the next wave of the opioid epidemic, which is expected to deliver a massive blow to the heartland. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms the opioid crisis has dramatically worsened since the second half of 2016. Raw data from hospital emergency rooms show a significant increase in drug overdoses across the U.S.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, CDC Director Anne Schuchat, M.D., warned that the U.S. is currently experiencing the highest drug overdose death rates ever.

In the newly issued report, which examined data from 16 states, emergency department visits for suspected opioid overdoses jumped 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017. In some regions of the country, overdoses were far more significant, but overall, data from most areas showed the opioid crisis is worsening, despite President Trump’s new initiative to tackle the epidemic.

“We have an emergency on our hands,” says CDC Director Anne Schuchat. “The fast-moving opioid overdose epidemic continues and is accelerating.”

According to the report, opioid overdoses increased for both genders, in all age groups, and across all regions in the U.S.

From July 2016 through September 2017, opioid overdoses increased:

  • Men (↑30%) and women (↑24%)

  • People ages 25-34 (↑ 31%), 35-54 (↑36%), and 55 and over (↑32%)

  • Most states (↑ 30% average), especially in the Midwest (↑70% average)

SOURCE: CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program, 52 jurisdictions in 45 states reporting.

Opioid overdoses continued to increase in cities and towns of all types: 

  • Non-core (non-metro): 21 percent increase

  • Micropolitan (non-metro): 24 percent increase

  • Small metro: 37 percent increase

  • Medium metro: 43 percent increase

  • Large fringe metro: 21 percent increase

  • Large central metro: 54 percent increase – Large and steady increase for large cities

SOURCE: CDC’s Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance (ESOOS) Program, 16 states reporting percent changes from July 2016 through September 2017.

Recent trends in opioid overdose emergency department (ED) visits provides a shocking view of this fast-moving epidemic: 

SOURCE: CDC’s Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance (ESOOS) Program, 16 states reporting percent changes from July 2016 through September 2017.

“Long before we receive data from death certificates, emergency department data can point to alarming increases in opioid overdoses,” Schuchat said in a statement. “This fast-moving epidemic affects both men and women, and people of every age. It does not respect state or county lines and is still increasing in every region in the United States.”

CDC provides three shocking statistics from the latest report indicating the opioid crisis is out of control: 

  • Opioid overdoses went up 30% from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states.
  • The Midwestern region witnessed opioid overdoses increase 70% from July 2016 through September 2017.
  • Opioid overdoses in large cities increased by 54% in 16 states.

CBS News believes fentanyl could be the responsible actor in the recent surge of overdoses: 

The reasons for these increases are unclear, but officials say it may have to do with changes in the drug supply, including the availability of newer, highly toxic illegal opioids such as fentanyl, which has been spreading rapidly in recent years. Fentanyl, a synthetic drug that’s 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, is often mixed in to make heroin more potent, leading many users to OD.  

It is all downhill from here, as the opioid crisis is now affecting most generations in all regions across the United States, which could be problematic for the US economy as millennials are set to dominate the most productive age segment of the US labor market.  Even the Federal Reserve has warned about the impact of the opioid crisis on productivity and the labor market.

But then again, DARPA, Silicon Valley, and Wall Street are quietly building an army of AI robots in the shadows, waiting for the moment America’s middle-class nose dives under the weight of the opioid crisis. So far, drug overdoses have managed to plunge the US life expectancy lower for two consecutive years, the last time this occurred it was 1963 and shortly after markets tumbled.