The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious issue plaguing our country, but drug abuse remains a drastically more deadly problem in the United States. An epidemic, which is what drug abuse is known a, is a far more serious issue than a pandemic, yet it receives far less media attention than the current pandemic. When weighing the weight of an epidemic vs. pandemic, it’s important to understand the truly heavy consequences of a true epidemic.
Death Toll Continues Yearly from Drug Abuse
According to the CDC, 67,367 people in 2018 died due to drug overdose. That is a rate of 20.7 per 100,000 people. That’s quite a large number of people who lose their lives due to the drug epidemic.
While efforts are being to lessen the number of people who fall victim due to drug overdose, the truth is thousands will continue dying every year.
Facts Surrounding Drug Overdose Deaths
Statistics surrounding drug abuse are often quite sobering. Some interesting facts surrounding national drug overdose numbers include:
- Opioids were connected to over 46,0000 overdose deaths in 2018.
- That meant they were part of nearly 70% of the overdose deaths.
- West Virginia had the highest rates of death, with a rate of 51.5 per 100,000 people.
- North America currently has the highest drug-related mortality rate in the world.
- One out of every four drug deaths around the globe come from North America.
Clearly, drug abuse is a serious and deadly problem in the United States, and this must be a consideration when considering an epidemic vs. pandemic discussion.
How Drug-Related Deaths Compare to COVID-19 Deaths
So how does the epidemic of drug-related deaths compare to the reality of COVID-19? Truthfully, only time will tell how far the impact of the virus will go, but currently, drug overdose deaths are far more prevalent.
While the number of deaths from COVID-19 is constantly changing, as of March 2020 the current count was just over 11,000 across the globe. In the United States, only 224 people have died due to the virus in the first few months of its presence in the country. Even in Italy, which has recorded the most deaths, the March numbers were just over 4,000.
Compared to drug overdose, COVID-19, to this point, has caused far fewer deaths. Though it is a serious problem with the potential to grow and overwhelm the healthcare system, drug overdose remains a more deadly problem.
Epidemic Vs. Pandemic – Both Are Serious
All of this discussion does not mean the pandemic is not a serious problem. If the population doesn’t take proper preventative measures to reduce exposure, the pandemic could quickly overwhelm the healthcare system, leading to serious concerns about how to choose who gets needed care.
However, the drug abuse epidemic is serious too. It’s claiming lives almost every day, and it continues to do so year after year. Even after COVID-19 is in the history books, the drug abuse epidemic is going to continue plaguing society.
Struggling with Drug Abuse? Get Help
Drug abuse will continue to claim lives if the people affected do not get the appropriate help. Professional drug and alcohol abuse treatment remains the best way to address drug addiction. With professional help, people can lessen the effects of addiction and avoid falling victim to a drug overdose.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious one, but when weighing the effect of the drug abuse epidemic vs. pandemic, the drug abuse problem is a far more deadly one. Those who struggle need to seek professional help. Reach out to our treatment center today to learn more about drug addiction treatment options for yourself or someone you love. Call 855.478.3650 to speak to an addiction expert.