The headline above comes from a January 14, 2019, article in USA Today. The article is reporting on a study published by Injury Facts on the same day with the title “For the First Time, We’re More Likely to Die From Accidental Opioid Overdose Than Motor Vehicle Crash.”
Everyone should have heard by now that the U.S. in in the grips of an opioid crisis. As more studies are done, the evidence continues to mount that this problem is only getting worse. Now a new study shows that more people in the U.S. are dying from accidental opioid overdoses than from motor vehicle crashes. This makes accidental opioid overdose the most common form of preventable injury death in this country.
According to the study, in 2016, there were 37,814 deaths from accidental opioid overdose. This number grew alarmingly to 43,036 deaths for the year 2017. In comparison, there were 40,327 deaths due to motor vehicle accidents in 2016. But in 2017, that number decreased slightly to 40,231 deaths. Currently the odds of a person dying from an opioid overdose have risen to 1 out of every 96 people in the U.S.
Maureen Vogel, a spokeswoman for the National Safety Council, commented in a email to CNN by stating, “Too many people still believe the opioid crisis is abstract and will not impact them. Many still do not see it as a major threat to them or their family. These data show the gravity of the crisis. We have known for some time that opioid overdose is an everyday killer, and these odds illustrate that in a very jarring way.”
Ken Kolosh, the National Safety Council’s manager of statistics and who has been working at the NSC for nearly 20 years added, “I look at a lot of data, particularly I look at a lot of historic trends. This advent of opioid overdoses and the quickness of its rise, I believe, is unprecedented.” He continued, “This was something that was not on our radar at all, and now for it to be a leading cause of death is truly startling.”
“There are many proposed attempts at a solution to the growing opioid epidemic.” States Robert Braile, a chiropractor, author and past president of the International Chiropractors Association. What needs to be addressed first is the culture of taking medications to treat pain instead of looking at ways to correct the cause.” Dr. Braile continued by explaining, “All to often health care professionals to not consider non-drug approaches for chronic pain patients because it falls outside their area of expertise or training.”
“Chiropractic has created zero opiod addictions and is responsible for zero opioid deaths,” Braile pointed out. “Additionally, chiropractic has helped millions of people find a way out of chronic pain without the use of drugs of any kind. Think of how many lives can be saved by turning people toward a non-drug approach like chiropractic.”