Accidental drug overdoses, including those involving opioids, are a leading cause of accidental deaths in America.
- In 2014, opioid overdoses claimed over 29,000 lives – an average of one every 17 minutes.
- In 2011, there were an estimated 488,004 emergency department visits involving non-medical use of opiates or opioids.
According to Nora D. Volkow, Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), accidental opioid overdose is a “public health epidemic with devastating consequences.”
The Human Cost
This epidemic affects all layers of American society, without regard to geography, age, race, or socioeconomic status. By 2013, unintentional drug poisoning was the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. The consequences are not only national, but also deeply personal: deaths from accidental opioid overdose send out tidal waves of pain through families and friends, leaving a deep and enduring sense of loss.
Because accidental overdose is such a far-ranging public health problem, it’s important that everyone from parents to providers to policymakers work together to save lives. Fortunately, there is a growing chorus of voices that recognize the seriousness of this problem and are calling for measures to address this epidemic.
On the federal, state, local, and advocacy levels, key stakeholders have been developing policies and practices to help prevent accidental opioid-related overdoses and deaths, 76% of which occur outside medical settings and 56% of which occur in homes.
Working with NIDA to develop needed products and under the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Fast Track Designation and Priority Review process, Adapt Pharma is helping address accidental opioid overdose fatalities in America.