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US drug overdose deaths drop by 5.1%

Drug overdose deaths in the US have fallen for the first time since 1999, according to preliminary official data.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures showed a drop of 5.1% in 2018 from the year before.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said this was down to a decline in deaths linked to opioids.

US efforts "to curb opioid use disorder and addiction are working," he said in a statement, although he added the issue "will not be solved overnight".

The US is in the midst of an opioid crisis, with hundreds of thousands thought to have died over the last few decades.

Given the pretty alarming rate at which these deaths have been rising in recent years, I'm glad to see that this trend has begun to reverse.

Hopefully, it'll continue to do so :) !
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I am skeptical of the claim that it is the "to curb opioid use disorder and addiction" is the major factor behind this, it takes years at quickest for such polices to take effect (Unless it was enacted early on before it became a moderate or major issue), and it has only been with in the last year at most that any thing policy wise has really taken shape.

Instead it could very well be the efforts which started long before state measures to make getting opioids harder to get from a doctors, such as programs to give police, EMTs, and even pharmacies with out a doctor's prescription for things like Naloxone which is used to treat opioids ODs, at lease until they are at the hospital. Even medically untrained people in some places can get access to Naloxone with for OD kits.

The first programs of the above started around 1996.

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Well, good that they're going down. Hope it keeps going down!
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