It can be hard to comprehend the true scope of something as disastrous as the opioid epidemic. Perhaps that’s why it’s been compared with falling 747s and crashing cars. But in fact, knowing exactly how many people have perished is crucial to stopping the deaths. That’s why Elaine Hill and Andrew Boslett, economists at the University of Rochester, were so concerned when they found that many potential opioid deaths aren’t counted as such. In the fall of 2018, Hill and Boslett were studying how deaths from overdoses of opioids, such as heroin or OxyContin, were influenced by the decline of coal mining and the rise of shale gas fracking. But when they began looking at death records of Americans who had died of drug overdoses, they noticed that in more than 20 percent of the cases, the record said the type of drug could not be specified, perhaps because an autopsy had not been performed. In other words, the person had died of a drug overdose, but the death record didn’t say which drug.
Read the full article: The Opioid Epidemic Might Be Much Worse Than We Thought //