Bottle of opioids spilled on counter

01 Feb Opioid Epidemic Might Peak in 2017

Addiction and substance abuse, we’d venture to say, is currently the number one largest health issue on the planet today. By far, the number of fatalities due to addiction have been driven upward by the increases that have been experienced in the opioid epidemic. However, according to one group of researchers, the opioid epidemic might just about be at its peak, after which it will finally relent and reach a manageable level. Here is some information about the light that might be at the end of the tunnel, regarding opioid addiction…

Opioid addiction has skyrocketed over the past decade

The first thing to note is that opioid addiction has been in a constantly climbing pattern over the past decade. To put it simply, opioid addiction has skyrocketed. A large part of what fueled this was the copious amounts of prescription drugs that were easily prescribed by the medical industry, which created a pipeline of addiction for prescriptions, which led many people to take up harder street drugs, such as heroin. However, even outside the prescription issue, opioid addiction (and heroin addiction, specifically) has become a self-sustaining problem, today.

Columbia study

A group of researchers at Columbia industry have made a bold prediction that 2017 is going to be the peak year of the opioid epidemic. These researchers have looked at the rate that addiction numbers have consistently climbed over the past decade, and have cross examined it with other major, widespread health epidemics in the past, such as AIDS, smallpox, and other plagues. Due to this information, they predict that the epidemic will retract and reach minimal numbers by 2034.

Using other behavioral disorders as a model

Although they were able to look at other events that were labeled as epidemics, throughout history, the Columbia researchers acknowledged that addiction is notably different from those diseases, as it is a behavioral health issue. However, they have cross examined their research with the rise of obesity rates, and have found similar widespread behavioral health problems to base their numbers on.

Stronger social reaction to addiction

One reason that they say this decline is going to accelerate after 2017 is due to the rising social consciousness of how much of a problem addiction has become. This, they say, will finally prompt a reaction to the problem that is necessary to be able to tackle it.

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