What Every Colorectal Surgeon Should Know About the Legislative Response to the Opioid Epidemic
The United States is experiencing an epidemic of deaths from opioid abuse. The statistics are shocking. It is estimated that approximately 64,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016, more than have ever died in a single year of automobile accidents or of HIV, even at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Nearly two-thirds of these deaths are due to opioids, such as oxycodone, fentanyl, and heroin. Over 560,000 individuals died of drug overdoses from 1999 to 2015. The current death toll is the equivalent of suffering a 9/11 catastrophe every 3 weeks. Drug overdoses have become the leading cause of death for Americans under 50.