Why Isn't the Opioid Epidemic Getting Any Better?
The number of drug overdose deaths in 2019 climbed 4.6% compared to 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with a total of 70,980 deaths. More than 50,000 of those deaths involved opioids. Despite the attention and resources put forth to combat the opioid epidemic over the past several decades, the data shows that death rates have not significantly improved.
HealthCity recently asked Alex Walley, MD, addiction medicine expert and physician in general internal medicine at Boston Medical Center, why. His answer points to real and perceived barriers to treatment access and the need for a paradigm shift in how care is delivered.