CDC Reports Highest Drug Overdose Death Rates in Record

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Waismann Method® Opioid Treatment Specialists and Rapid Detox Center addresses the data provided by the CDC showing 70,689 drug overdose deaths in 2017. The disturbing data reflects a 6.6% increase from 2016's already bleak reports and the CDC warns that these numbers are likely to climb.

Waismann Method®-  Medical Opioid Treatment and Rapid Detox Center logo

Waismann Method®- Medical Opioid Treatment and Rapid Detox Center

"If we provide effective drug detox with individualized mental health care, we might just start turning this opioid crisis around.” Waismann states. “We have the science, we have the resources, but unfortunately, we lack the right priorities.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released provisional data showing 70,689 drug overdose deaths in 2017. This is the highest overdose death rate on record and reflects an increase of 6.6 % over the 2016 drug overdose deaths statistic. Making matters worse, the CDC warns that the provisional numbers likely underestimate the total overdose death count and that the final number of overdose deaths will likely top 72,000.

Opioids were responsible for 40,000 overdose deaths, more than half of the total. Most opioid overdose deaths—approximately 30,000—involved synthetic opioids (excluding methadone) such as fentanyl and its analogs.

Some states saw a particularly dramatic increase in opioid deaths compared to 2016. Nebraska’s overdose death rate increased by 33.3% compared to the previous year. North Carolina and New Jersey also saw increases of over 20%. In 38 states, more people died from drug overdose in 2017 than in 2016. New England, Appalachia, and the South are hardest hit by the epidemic.

Across the US, the number of overdose deaths from prescription opioids and methadone dropped slightly from 2017 levels. This suggests that legal restrictions of opioid prescribing may have reduced overdose deaths on prescription opioids but have perhaps pushed vulnerable patients to use more powerful fentanyl-like drugs.

“While the new CDC estimates are deeply disheartening, these are not surprising,” says Clare Waismann, founder of the Waismann Method® Opioid Treatment Specialists and Rapid Detox Center. Waismann suggests, “We keep doing the same things but expect different results.”

“Addiction is not the issue but the consequence,” states Waismann. “Maintenance drugs or cookie cutter rehabs do not treat the core issue. The endless revolving doors of drug rehabs or the prolonging of opioid dependence causes people to feel hopeless and even more depressed. This deeper state of emotional distress intensifies the drug abuse, which leads to overdose and possibly death. The CDC numbers tell us that people are dying and what we are doing isn’t working.”

Despite the disappointing numbers, Waismann offers a solution. “Medical science has evolved immensely. We clearly understand the physiological effects of opioids. We also know how to medically detox a patient, reverse dependence and block cravings. Now, if we provide effective drug detox with individualized mental health care, we might just start turning this opioid crisis around,” Waismann states. “We have the science, we have the resources, but unfortunately, we lack the right priorities.”

About the Waismann Method
Waismann Method™ offers medical assisted opioid detoxification and rapid detox treatment in a Full-Service JCAHO Accredited Hospital in Southern California. Medically directed by Dr. Michael H. Lowenstein, the Waismann Method® is the premier medical opiate detoxification and rapid detox center in the US. Dr. Lowenstein is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in opioid dependence and rapid detox treatment. He leads a team of healthcare professionals that consistently provide humane, dignified, and effective drug treatment. This commitment to providing excellent care for patients struggling with opioid addiction and superior results, is as strong today as it was 20 years ago when we started.

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Clare Waismann
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