The opioid crisis has quietly become one of the worst that has plagued the country as the National Safety Council has announced—for the first time in history—an American is more likely to die from an opioid overdose than to injuries they could receive as a result of a motor vehicle crash.
As ABC News reports, the severity of the opioid crisis has risen since 2010, claiming on average the lives of 466 people every single day.
The U.S. opioid crisis has come to the forefront of the country’s consciousness since a rapid increase in fatalities in 2010, but eclipsing the number of highway crashes marks a critical point in the country’s struggle with heroin, synthetic-opioid and prescription pill addiction.
The odds of dying accidentally from an opioid overdose have risen to one in 96, according to the watchdog group. The odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash are one in 103.
“We’ve made significant strides in overall longevity in the United States, but we are dying from things typically called accidents at rates we haven’t seen in half a century,” said Ken Kolosh, manager of statistics at the National Safety Council. “We cannot be complacent about 466 lives lost every day.”
Here’s more on the disastrous opioid crisis, via the Daily Wire:
The new data underscores information from other government agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control, which just last month noted that, largely because of the opioid crisis, American life expectancy has declined, overall, for the first time in decades — and that children and young adults are specifically affected.
“What began more than 2 decades ago as a public health problem primarily among young and middle-aged white males is now an epidemic of prescription and illicit opioid abuse that is taking a toll on all segments of US society,” that study indicated.
The synthetic opioid Fentanyl is now the drug of choice for most people who abuse opioids, and Fentanyl use has been on a steady rise in the United States since 2016. It’s also the drug most likely to be the culprit in overdose deaths, according to figures released in December by the CDC.
Law enforcement officials have tried to stress the dangers of Fentanyl, but often to no avail; recently, a number of officials have noted a rise in “mass drug overdoses” affecting Fentanyl users living in specific areas. In one such case from just last week,13 people in Chico, California, were sickened by tainted Fentanyl. One user died.
On the White House website for the opioid crisis, it says “more than 300,000 Americans have died from overdoses involving opioids since 2000. President Donald J. Trump has mobilized his entire Administration to address opioid abuse by directing the declaration of a nationwide Public Health Emergency.”
In combating the crisis, Trump declared the opioid crisis a Public Health Emergency during his first year in office.
“I am directing all executive agencies to use every appropriate emergency authority to fight the opioid crisis,” the President said on October 26, 2017, per the White House.