Welcome to This Week in Recovery, a weekly recap of the 5 biggest stories and developments in the recovery industry.
Opioid Overdose Crisis Expected to Worsen – JAMA Network
The annual number of fatal opioid overdoses is projected to increase from 33,000 in 2015 to over 81,000 by 2025. This according to a study published in the JAMA Network, projecting that there will be over 700,000 opioid overdose deaths between 2016 and 2025. Similarly, the number of individuals using illicit opioids is expected to increase by 61% from 930,000 users to 1.5 million during this time.
Alphabet Inc.’s subsidiary health-care company Verily is partnering with hospitals in Ohio to promote a tech-oriented approach to treating substance use disorders. Part of the rollout includes funding for housing and behavioral health treatment centers that will utilize Verily’s data-centric approach to addiction. A new facility in Dayton will begin seeing patients in spring 2019, with a full health-care campus expected to be completed in 2020.
Why the Fentanyl Epidemic Hasn’t Hit California – Washington Post
California, and specifically the San Francisco region, has been able to largely avoid the opioid epidemic caused by fentanyl. Fentanyl was found to be involved in more than half of overdose deaths nationwide but turned up in only 20% of deaths in California. One of the main reasons for this is because of San Francisco’s widespread harm reduction methods such as Narcan.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy released its first National Drug Control Strategy, outlining a comprehensive plan to focus on opioid abuse and addiction prevention. The plan includes goals such as reducing the number of Americans dying from drug overdose within five years, and to reduce national opioid prescriptions by a third. In addition, they laid out plans to work with the private sector to increase hiring opportunities for individuals in addiction recovery.
After Daughter’s Fatal Overdose, Ex-DEA Agent Turns Focus to Treatment – NBC Los Angeles
A former DEA agent has changed his approach to fighting addiction after the death of his 18-year-old daughter. Although he grew up idolizing and carrying out Reagan’s “War on Drugs”, a former narcotics officer realized that the punitive approach to treatment was not working for his own daughter. In the three years since her fatal overdose, Kevin Simmers has been raising awareness, hosting fundraisers, and recently opened the sober living home Brooke’s House for young women in Washington County.
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Kentucky has been one of the hardest hit states in the nation when it comes to the opioid epidemic. It ranks fifth in the nation for highest overdose rates and many counties in the commonwealth are experiencing crisis levels of addiction. See what the state is doing to battle this epidemic.