Opioid overdose deaths hit all-time high in US, including KC

Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 7:25 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Opioid overdose deaths have hit an all-time high in the U.S. and that includes the Kansas City metro.

States like Missouri have recently launched a dashboard to track the opioid crisis. Year over year, it’s becoming a bigger problem.

The graph tells the story as staggering numbers show the growing opioid epidemic.

According to the CDC, there were more than 107,000 drug overdose deaths last year in the U.S.

Synthetic opioids like fentanyl and prescription painkillers are to blame for nearly 80% of those deaths.

Local pain specialists say the data is similar. They also point out that opioid overdoses are the number one cause of death among adults 18-44 years old.

“The number one cause is illicit substances like fentanyl,” said Dr. Jeff Foster. “Sometimes, additionally, cocaine or methamphetamines. But, also prescription opioids being misused.”

Foster encourages his patients to turn to alternative methods to manage pain. That can range from steroid injections to other medical treatments.

He said there’s also non-medical methods, like physical therapy, yoga and Pilates.