A new report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals deaths from drug overdoses in America rose 21 percent last year. That jump is more than the last four years combined. For every 100,000 people, almost 20 died from a drug overdose in 2016, compared to 16.3 the previous year, Bloomberg reported.
The report shows deaths from liver disease, suicide, cancer and HIV have decreased. However, the overall death rate continued to increase. Farida Ahmad, the report’s author and mortality surveillance lead at the CDC says this is because people are dying in larger numbers from other causes, such as drug overdoses, or homicides and firearm-related injuries, both of which also rose last year.
The CDC measures 20 causes of death in its report, and although there are slight increases in other categories, Ahmad says drug overdoses show “the most stark increase,” WTKR News reported. Every quarter in 2016 saw an increase in the number of deaths related to drug overdoses.
These findings come shortly after President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis in America a public health emergency. This allows the Trump administration and Department of Health and Human Services to allocate funding and resources to address the crisis under the Public Health Emergency Act. The order lasts for 90 days and can be renewed every 90 days until deemed unnecessary.
The president had been heavily criticized over his handling of the epidemic after he announced he would declare the crisis a national emergency but did not. A declaration of national emergency would have allowed for additional funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund.