We may be in a moment of crisis, but the opioid epidemic is not.
As of today, more Americans are dying every day from overdoses than in all of 2014.
That’s according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which shows that the death toll from opioids jumped in 2015 to the highest level since 2014.
The CDC data shows that from January through April, there were more than 1.2 million deaths linked to the drug.
The death toll rose by 6 million from the first three months of 2016.
“This is a crisis we’ve been struggling with for a long time,” said Dr. Michael Greger, director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
“It’s very clear that it’s an epidemic we need not just to talk about, but we have to act on.”
But it’s not just the opioid overdose death toll that is a big concern.
There’s a huge amount of painkiller and prescription opioid abuse that goes unreported.
There are more opioid users in the US than ever before, and the problem is going to get worse, Greger said.
“We’ve seen more and more states like Texas that have passed laws where they have decriminalized certain types of painkillers, like OxyContin and Vicodin,” he said.
The opioid crisis has been under siege for years, but this time around it’s happening at a much, much higher level.
People are being pushed to the edge, and people are dying.
As the crisis worsens, more states are passing laws to make it harder for people to obtain painkillers.
And that means even more people are turning to fentanyl.
That is a synthetic opioid, which is the most dangerous form of heroin, but it has no effects on the body.
When someone overdoses, their body shuts down, and they start to lose consciousness.
And then they’re gone.
That process of overdose has been blamed for thousands of deaths each year, and there are now signs that people are taking more fentanyl.
“The most worrisome thing is that the fentanyl is being made by a company called Opcode,” said Andrew Kolodny, an addiction medicine doctor and former heroin addiction researcher.
“Opcode makes fentanyl from fentanyl.
It’s produced by a chemical company that is very big.
It produces a lot of fentanyl.
And there’s a lot more of it out there than we know.”
The problem is that a lot people aren’t getting the fentanyl they need to help them survive.
“A lot of the people who have been addicted for a very long time don’t have access to prescription opioids that are available in their community,” said Greger.
“And there’s not a lot they can do, either.”
The numbers are staggering.
According to the CDC, about 2.3 million Americans aged 15 and over have taken at least one prescription opioid in the last year.
And another 4.5 million Americans are currently using opioids at a rate of more than 100,000 per day.
The overdose death rate is so high, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it’s “unprecedented in our lifetime.”
And it’s getting worse.
Last year, the federal government spent $18 billion to combat the opioid pandemic, and it’s on track to spend another $17 billion in 2019.
But experts say the real impact will be felt when it comes to the painkiller overdose death rates.
“These numbers are very concerning,” said Jonathan Dorn, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and a former senior official in the Department of Justice’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.
“If you look at the number of opioid overdose deaths per 100,00 Americans, that’s one of the highest rates that we’ve seen in a long, long time.”
There’s also a huge stigma around getting help for opioid addiction.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that one-third of the population is using opioid painkillers at some point in their lives.
And one in six people will attempt to die by overdose.
“There’s a very high risk of death by overdose if you don’t get the help you need,” Dorn said.
That means that many people are going to have to go without.
And those that do, will struggle to recover.
The real solution isn’t in the prescription drug companies’ warehouses, but in helping people access treatment.
That has proven to be extremely difficult, as it’s extremely difficult to get the right type of addiction treatment.
The first thing to look at is the right treatment.
“To get help for addiction, we need a combination of things,” Greger told Recode.
“One is access to treatment.
We need access to quality, appropriate, safe and effective treatment for opioid use disorders, and we need access and quality treatment for addiction and addiction treatment in general.”
But as Greger pointed out, there are only so many types of addiction and treatment, so it’s important to get in