CDC data points to 1st drop in overdose deaths since 1990

Provisional data from the CDC suggests overdose-related deaths are falling in the U.S., according to The Wall Street Journal.

The CDC is still tallying fatal drug overdoses for 2018. At present, the agency predicts 69,096 fatal overdoses occurred in the 12-month period ending November 2018 — a decrease from the nearly 72,300 deaths predicted for the 12 months ending November 2017.

The agency has yet to sift through overdose data for December 2018. If this trend continues, it would be the first time overdose deaths have fallen since 1990. That year, about 8,400 people died from overdoses.

A decline would hint toward progress in reducing overdose deaths but should not be a major cause for celebration, health officials said. The country is still facing an extremely high overdose death rate due to the spread of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

More articles on opioids:

Addressing the national opioid epidemic through care collaboration
Many surgeons overprescribed opioids as overdose rates soared, KHN analysis finds
FDA proposes more stringent rules for opioid approval: 4 things to know

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