Drug Overdose Deaths In Alaska For 2016

first_imgFacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The national drug overdose death rate has risen considerably in recent years due to the opioid epidemic. In 2015, Alaska’s opioid overdose death rate was higher than the national rate. A public information campaign has been launched to call attention to the risk of opioid addiction and to reduce stigma by increasing the understanding of addiction as a chronic health condition rather than a moral failing. The rate of overdose deaths has steadily increased in Alaska and nationally due to three sequential epidemiological phenomena. The first began in the mid-1990s with changes in standards for pain management, approval of new, extended release prescription opioid pain relievers, and aggressive pharmaceutical marketing to encourage the use of prescription opioids. Driven primarily by heroin and other illicit drugs, Alaska’s drug overdose death rate increased in 2016. Notable demographic changes in 2016 included higher death rates among a younger age-group (25–34 year-olds) and among Gulf Coast residents. During 2016, 128 drug overdose deaths occurred in Alaska; 74% involved any type of opioid (including prescription opioids, heroin, or other) and 38% involved heroin specifically.  In 2016, the number and rate of all drug overdose deaths increased compared to the prior 7 years. Subsequent to Governor Bill Walker’s declaration of the opioid epidemic as a public health disaster in February 2017, Alaska Project HOPE (Harm reduction, Overdose Prevention, and Education) has been providing overdose reversal kits with prepackaged naloxone nasal spray  to overdose prevention programs under a statewide standing order. More information is available at: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Director/Pages/heroin-opioids/default.aspxlast_img

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