Drug overdose deaths have substantially increased over the past year according to numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From April 2020 to April 2021, overdose deaths increased by 29% compared to the year prior.
Most of the deaths (75%) were caused by synthetic opioids. These are mostly drugs in the fentanyl family. But methamphetamine and cocaine overdose deaths also increased.
What does this mean for people suffering from drug addiction? It means that the illicit drug market is more dangerous than ever, and getting help now is a matter of life and death.
Reasons for the Increase in Drug Overdose Deaths
The reasons for drug addiction and overdose death are unique and personal, but there are common themes among many people struggling with substance abuse. The reasons for the increase in drug overdose deaths are likely to include:
- Stress and isolation linked to the pandemic
- Unknowingly purchasing fentanyl
- Regular use leading to tolerance fluctuations
- Combining substances
- Increased doses attributed to intravenous use
It is important to note that most drug overdose deaths are unintentional. Death is caused by accidentally using more of the drug than the body can handle or buying a drug that is advertised as something else.
For example, fentanyl is often sold in place of more expensive drugs. The DEA says that every year, the amount of fentanyl coming into the U.S. doubles.
No Safe Drug Addiction
Those who have been suffering from addiction for a significant amount of time may consider the overdose death numbers to be numbers that reflect inexperience. In other words, they might feel comfortable with their source or feel like they can maintain a safe level of drug use because they know their tolerance levels.
There is no safe level of drug use or safe source.
The motivation to get help might stem from the realization that, with continued drug use, it is only a matter of time until that overdose death has your name or the name of a loved one on it.
The Struggles and Surprises of Recovery
Many people who have an addiction wish that they could stop the addictive behavior. The struggle that occurs when that behavior is stopped is REAL. It may include negative side effects such as:
- Loss of social circle/isolation
Any of these negative side effects can push a person struggling with addiction into relapse. That is why it is important to recognize the positive surprises that can also occur. They include:
- Increased cognition
- Self-discovery and acceptance
- Positive social connections
- Conflict resolution
- Hope for the future
These positive effects of recovery are called surprises because they are unbelievable when beginning the journey to sobriety. They seem unattainable, and some of them take more time than others.
The goal of recovery is that you get your life back. It is a life with a tough history, and you cannot erase the past. But it is also a life that has the experience of struggle and the rewards that come with dedication to becoming drug-free.
Don’t Suffer a Drug Overdose Accident. Start Treatment Today!
The news that overdose death numbers are increasing is especially troubling because people suffering from addiction cannot avoid these accidents without treatment. They cannot safely use drugs, so treatment is the only option to avoid the risk of death inherent in drug use.
Thankfully, places such as Fairwinds Treatment Center know how to address the barriers to recovery that come with addiction. You or your loved one can go to a facility equipped with the environment and health professionals you need to beat your addiction and move on with your life free from the negative impacts of continued drug use.
The road to recovery is a bumpy one, and the care providers at Fairwinds Treatment Center are there to help keep you on track. Recovery may seem impossible, and it will be hard, but your life free from drugs is worth the effort.