According to the new federal data on overdose deaths, the persistent opioid crisis has impacted the American teens in the last years. Within a span of just one year between 2014-2015, surged from 3.1 deaths per 100,000 teens to 3.7, which is about 19% – in the age group of 15 to 19. This data was released by the National Centers for Health Statistics. In 2015 alone, drug overdose costed 772 lives of teenagers. And, the surprising thing is that most of this overdose deaths were not intentional.
This jaw-dropping rise in drug overdose deaths in just one year reflects the impact of the opioid epidemic that is taking the nation in its grip.A study released earlier this year found that most of these teens are not getting timely help. Only one in four of this young population, between the age of 13 and 25, who are opioid addicts get medications to fight the disease.
Another report by the NCHS showed that drug overdose deaths hit a record-high across all age groups between third quarter of 2016. There were 19.9 overdose deaths per 100,000 people during this particular period. During the same period in 2015, this number was 16.7 per 100,000 people.
The NCHS pointed out that these findings equate to the 9/11 death toll every three weeks, and urged President Donald Trump to declare the opioid crisis as a national emergency. That will at least allow allocation of additional government resources to fight the epidemic, while there is still some time to save this generation.
Earlier this month, Trump had indicated to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price that he didn’t think the situation was grave enough to require an official emergency declaration. However, last week, the President announced his plans to do it, reversing his plans from earlier.