Dr. Toby Cosgrove: Opioid epidemic has 'peaked'

Toby Cosgrove, MD, former president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic, discussed America's efforts to combat the opioid epidemic during an Aug. 13 episode of CNBC's program the "Squawk Box," saying he believes the crisis has "peaked."

"We're starting to see the understanding of the problem," he said on the show. "[We] are getting to the point where people are certainly prescribing fewer drugs and people are recognizing how serious this is."

Despite these improvements, Dr. Cosgrove said opioids still pose major health risks for citizens, citing the prevalence of drugs being laced with synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl or carfentanil.

"Carfentanil is 10,000 times as potent as morphine. These drugs are getting laced," Dr. Cosgrove told CNBC. "We just had an outbreak of deaths in Ohio from drugs being laced with very potent carfentanil and fentanyl."

In 2016, there were 42,000 opioid overdose deaths reported in the U.S., according to the CDC.

More articles on opioids: 

EMS naloxone use jumps 75% in 4 years, CDC says
Opioid use among pregnant women on the rise, CDC says
Physicians prescribe fewer opioids after county medical examiner notifies them of patients' fatal overdose

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