The opioid and heroin epidemic has ravaged swaths of the United States, with opioids playing a role in more than 33,000 deaths in 2015, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 30 states expanded Medicaid under Obamacare, making the healthcare law the most comprehensive financial government response to the crisis, Reuters found in a study of state programs nationwide.
PUBLISHED AUGUST 11, 2017
Overdose deaths on the rise
The number of drug overdose deaths has spiked in recent years. In 2015, the number of overdose deaths involving prescription and illicit opioids has risen more than 2.5 times since 1999, according to the CDC, and the number of drug overdose deaths involving illicit opioids in 2015 was over three times the number in 2010.
The U.S. has seen drug overdose deaths hitting particular regions harder than others. Overall, 19 states saw statistically significant increases in deaths from 2014 to 2015, largely in the Northeast and South.