In 2020, North America observed the deadliest year yet of what can only be described as an opioid epidemic, with more than 100,000 drug overdoses recorded in the USA—almost 76,000 of them attributed to opioids.
This article by The Lancet makes the following points:
- The numbers show an increase of approximately 30 percent over 2019.
- In Canada, deaths rose by 67% in a single year, to more than 6200.
- The opioid epidemic has been a constant and complex crisis since OxyContin was approved and erroneously marketed as a safe and low-risk opioid analgesic.
- The US Food and Drug Administration failed to enforce proper pain indication labelling on packaging.
- Early warnings by public health workers and emergency services about the potential lethality of opioids went unheeded.
- The Stanford–Lancet Commission has analysed the state of the opioid epidemic in North America and has mapped out an action plan for policy makers to de-escalate the crisis.
References from the Web:
Source: The Lancet