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[Comment] Value for money in reducing opioid-related deaths

During the past decade, overlapping epidemics of opioid overdose deaths have occurred in the USA. A steep increase in overdose deaths caused by pharmaceutical opioids during the past 15 years1 has been followed more recently by a new epidemic of heroin overdose deaths.2 Opioid overdose deaths have been a major contributor to the reversal in life expectancy of middle-aged white people in the USA,3 and opioids cause the greatest loss of life from fatal drug overdoses worldwide.4 Opioid overdose deaths can be prevented by engaging opioid-dependent people in methadone or buprenorphine substitution treatment, and distributing the opioid antagonist naloxone to enable bystanders to reverse opioid overdoses.

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Tags: medical, MEDICINE, Public health
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