"Even well-intentioned policies have exacerbated the link between opioid use and infectious disease. For instance, prescription drug monitoring programs and other measures to limit access to prescription opioids triggered a transition to heroin and, eventually, injection use among people who had become dependent on prescription pain relievers. At the same time, primary care clinics have not adequately screened, treated, and retained patients in treatment for substance use disorders.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, using data available for analysis on September 5, 2018, there were a reported 70,652 deaths attributed to drug overdose in the US for the year ending December 2017. Some deaths were still under investigation. The CDC projects that the total for 2017 will be 72,222.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime:
In the United States in 2015 (the most recent year for which data are available), the retail price of black tar heroin ranged from $20 to $300 per gram; the retail price of South American heroin ranged from $25 to $400 per gram; and the retail price of southwest Asian heroin ranged from $120 to $300 per gram.
In Canada in 2014 (the most recent year for which data are available), the retail price of opium ranged from $43 to $55.90 per gram; and the retail price of heroin ranged from $154.80 to $300.90 per gram.
"When observed within approximately 1 to 12 months after heroin onset, an estimated 23% to 38% of new heroin users have become dependent on heroin. Rank-order correlation and post hoc exploratory analyses prompt a hypothesis of recently increased odds of becoming dependent on heroin.
"Naltrexone is a long acting opioid receptor antagonist used in drug rehabilitation programmes to maintain opioid abstinence. However, when consumed in conjunction with an opioid substance, prolonged opioid withdrawal will be precipitated resulting in unpredictable and life threatening medical consequences."
According to the US Centers for Disease Control, in 2016, there were 63,632 drug overdose deaths in the United States. The CDC further estimates that of those, 42,249 deaths involved any opioid.
" In 2017, there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the United States.
" The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths in 2017 (21.7 per 100,000) was 9.6% higher than the rate in 2016 (19.8).
" Adults aged 25–34, 35–44, and 45–54 had higher rates of drug overdose deaths in 2017 than those aged 15–24, 55–64, and 65 and over.
" West Virginia (57.8 per 100,000), Ohio (46.3), Pennsylvania (44.3), and the District of Columbia (44.0) had the highest age-adjusted drug overdose death rates in 2017.
"After four straight years of increases, in 2016, urine testing positivity for heroin, indicated by the presence of the 6-acetylmorphine (6-AM) metabolite, held steady in the general U.S. workforce and declined slightly among federally-mandated, safety-sensitive workers.
"In terms of the historical development of this intervention, the first supervised drug consumption room was opened in Berne, Switzerland in June 1986. Further facilities of this type were established in subsequent years in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Luxembourg, Denmark, Greece and France. A total of 78 official drug consumption facilities currently operate in seven EMCDDA reporting countries, following the opening of the first two drug consumption facilities in the framework of a 6-year trial in France in 2016.
"Fentanyl was detected in 56.3% of 5,152 opioid overdose deaths in the 10 states during July–December 2016 (Figure). Among these 2,903 fentanyl-positive deaths, fentanyl was determined to be a cause of death by the medical examiner or coroner in nearly all (97.1%) of the deaths.