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Fatal Car Accidents Officially 2nd to Overdose Deaths in 2018

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD By January 16, 2019

Car fatal car accidents happen just about everyday. They’re unfortunate and a risk we take when getting behind the wheel in a huge metal box traveling down the freeway with other people in their boxes right next to us. 227,754,100 drivers are expected to be on our roads this year and the fatal accidents that occurred in these dangerous conditions were just 34,247, or less than 0.001percent.

Many of those come from the involvement of alcohol use, which would nearly cut the number in half if discounted from the totals. Compare this to the amount of people using dangerous addictive substances like heroin and meth, 20 million, or less than 1% of the number of car drivers. Overdose deaths are over 70,000 for illegal drugs and that number increases dramatically when including drug related deaths such as the aforementioned drunk driving fatalities. This number is made all the more sobering considering that car accidents themselves were at a 10-year high for 2018. This is the first time in United States history that drug overdoses have ever totalled more than car accidents.

But overdose deaths only talk about one aspect of the problem and why it’s responsible for a multitude of problems that society is having a hard time grasping and dealing with, especially when it comes to how addiction is viewed. America imprisons more than 2 million people with a majority of them involving drug related incidents, which reinforces the false idea that drug use and drug addiction are personal or moral failings personified. Furthermore, drug overdoses still occur even in prison which shows that punishment of the severity of living in a cage fails to deter users from still seeking out an addictive substance.

As states like New Jersey continue to look for solutions, the epidemic continues to grow each year. Some Universities are looking into ways to prevent addiction through research into vaccines and the very nature of addiction while funding for overdose prevention drugs for heroin like naloxone is getting priority in state budgets. Some state courts are expanding their ‘drug court’ programs which send drug users with minor offenses into rehabilitation programs instead of prison, sometimes out of necessity due to prison overcrowding from previously incarcerated addicts. Some state and federal politicians are noticing the ties between mental illness and drug addictions and are starting to show support for expanding insurance coverage to mental illnesses in hopes that it will have some positive effect on drug use rates.

While there is no singular case as to the rate of increase, many experts have cited multiple contributing factors that can lead a person to be vulnerable to addiction and drug use. Trauma experienced at a young age has often been cited as a contributing to risk of drug use as has the economic downturn that’s been relatively ongoing since 2008 when a spike of drug use occurred. Over administering prescription drugs of certain types has also been cited as having an effect, especially with heroin usage.

Discovery InstituteModern drug rehab centers in NJ, taking these things into account, are largely offering holistic treatments in order to ensure all possible causes are addressed properly. If you or anyone you know might be suffering from the chronic illness of addiction and are in search of drug rehab in NJ, your first step to sober living in New Jersey is a call to Discovery Institute at 844-478-6563.

Article Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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