Northeast Opioid Crisis

Northeast Opioid Crisis

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Learn the facts about the Northeast opioid crisis from Legacy Healing.

Recent data reveals that the Northeast opioid crisis is steadily rising in the Northeast region of the U.S. Along with the increase, there are more deaths due to overdose, making the Northeast the hub of America’s opioid problem.

A Regional Crisis

Overdose deaths caused mainly by illicit heroin and Fentanyl are escalating in areas that run north from Virginia and West Virginia, and east from Minnesota and Illinois. Fentanyl deaths due to overdose in those areas run as high as 22.5 percent for every 100,000 people. In comparison, Fentanyl overdose deaths are as low as 1.5 percent per every 100,000 people in the Southwest and West Coast of the U.S.

Leading Cause of Drug Deaths in 2017: Fentanyl

Research has shown that overdose deaths east of the Mississippi River are associated with the use of heroin, fentanyl, and prescription painkillers such as OxyContin. Other parts of the country do not have an opioid crisis and are dealing with overdose deaths due to other types of drugs like Methamphetamines. But nationwide, Fentanyl overdose was still the leading cause of drug deaths in 2017.

New England states leading opioid crisis

Leading the Northeast opioid crisis are the New England states with Fentanyl opioid deaths as high as 22.5 percent per 100,000 people. The Mid-Atlantic states came in 2nd for overdose Fentanyl deaths with 17.5 percent per 100,000 people. These states include Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. Heroin overdose deaths are following the same trend in the Northeast, and are also escalating in the South.

Contributing to Fentanyl overdose deaths include people who are using it, sometimes unknowingly, in heroin, cocaine, and counterfeit pills. It is imperative that people are taught about the dangers of Fentanyl, and also provide mass distribution of the drug Naloxone, which counteracts an opioid overdose.

Drug seizure data kept by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration keeps a close track on overdose numbers and reveals that overdose deaths follow drug availability in any given region of the U.S. Tracking how the supply of drugs moves across the country should aid law enforcement in the confiscation of opioid and other harmful drugs, and also diminish the high rate of opioid overdose deaths.

Public Safety

The opioid crisis has elicited both public and governmental outcry. In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are taking new steps to address the issue, which includes:

  • Improved data analysis and resources
  • Partnering with employers, law enforcement, and first responders to enhance public safety measures.
  • Empower consumers to make safe choices for pain management.
  • Support health care providers, payers, and systems.

The Northeast opioid crisis has increased due to the use of illicit opioids like heroin, and especially the illegal manufacture and sale of Fentanyl. Illicit Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and has a high risk for addiction and overdose death. The CDC is developing public safety prevention strategies to address the Northeast opioid crisis, including surveillance, data sharing, and interventions.

If you or someone you love needs help with addiction, call (888) 534-2295 today to speak with a treatment specialist.

First responders like police, paramedics, and firefighters are at an advantage in curbing the overdose epidemic because they are at the frontlines. They can administer Naloxone quickly to prevent overdose and death. Plus, many times first responders come into contact with stashes of illicit drugs while they respond to emergency medical calls, crime scenes, and drug raids.

The CDC is leading the way in promoting public health initiatives that can address the opioid crisis. In 2019, the CDC received $475 million to fight against opioid-use disorder and prevent opioid overdose and death.

If you or someone you love is addicted to opioids, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Reach out to an addiction specialist at Legacy Healing Center and learn more about our drug and alcohol rehab and detox programs: (888) 534-2295.