What's behind the record year for drug overdose deaths in the U.S.?
Before the pandemic, the opioid crisis was one of the biggest public health issues in the country, and last month's verdict in a Cleveland federal court that found four major pharmacy chain's liable for helping to drive the crisis showed, in part, how we got here, and how close to home the crisis is. The two counties represented in the landmark case were Lake and Trumbull.
But it didn't answer another question, why is the drug overdose crisis still so bad? In fact, it's getting worse. Last month, we learned that the 12-month period that ended in April became a record year for overdose deaths, as more than 100,000 Americans died from overdoses. That's 30 percent increase over the 78,000 deaths in the year prior. More than double what we saw in 2015. It's more than the total number of deaths from car crashes and gun fatalities combined.
And here in Northeast Ohio, we're still seeing overdoses in concerning clusters. Last week, Cuyahoga County issued a public health alert after 8 drug overdose deaths occured in a single day.
On the "Sound of Ideas," we're going to try to get at the "why" behind it all by talking to a local and also a national expert.
-Sam Quinones, Journalist & Author, "Dreamland" & "The Least of Us"
-Joan Papp, MD, Director of Office Opioid Safety, MetroHealth