Some concerning news when it comes to the drug epidemic in West Virginia.
A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found the mortality rate from synthetic opioids has increased drastically.
The mortality rate has an annual percent increase of 92.1 since from 1999 to 2016.
JAMA’s new data also found that the mortality rate from 26.6 per 100,000 in 2016. The overall opioid overdose death rate in West Virginia was 43.4 per 100,00. This makes synthetic opioid the main issue with the current epidemic.
It’s something experts say needs addressed.
“The solutions can’t be a blunt one size fits all approach. We need solutions based on the particular area. In addition the solutions cant just be on reducing the supply,” said AMA President-Elect Dr. Patrice Harris. “We have to also address the solutions on the demand side and that means treatment.”
Sarah Leake, a Continuum of Care Manager for BreakThru Medical Withdrawal Management at WVU Reynolds Memorial Hospital said the epidemic has made some progress since 2016. One of the main factors was issuing first responders and the public with the availability of Narcan.
“Every time we save someone from a fatal overdose it’s another chance for them to get treatment,” Leake explained. “It’s another chance for them to get better and it’s another chance for them to live a productive life.”
The JAMA student also said the number of prescription opioids is down by 22 percent over the past five years.