The Center for Disease Control has announced that opioid deaths from prescription pain killers, are rapidly rising from coast to coast. In 2015, 33,000 Americans died from these heroin related overdoses – almost as many as were killed that year in traffic crashes nationwide. And the numbers are rising quickly.
The CDC reports that illicit importation of painkillers from Mexico continues to rise year after year and may top the death toll from crack cocaine that killed 94,000 people from 1984 through ’87.
The latest tally shows that painkillers with heroin derivatives is the biggest problem per capita in Tillamook County with 14.2 deaths from overdoses per 100,000 population. Number two is Lincoln County with 11.23 deaths per hundred thousand population. Multnomah County is the third worst in the state with 11.06 deaths per hundred thousand. Coming in fourth statewide was Clatsop County, followed by Linn County rounding out the top five counties. Deschutes County was #17 among Oregon Counties with just over five deaths per 100,000 population. Besides opioids, a synthetic concoction of heroin, called Fentanyl, has been widely distributed and is beginning to rival heroin on the streets of our nation causing many deaths.
A terrible side-effect of the drug overdoses is that moms and dads are dying from overdoses, causing their children to be raised by foster parents. Foster homes are stretched very thin across the country. Again, the vast majority of the heroin coming in to the U.S. is coming from Mexico.