I read this article put out by the CDC and couldn’t believe the statistics I was reading, so I researched a little and finally arrived at the truth.  Here are how the deliberate misconceptions are announced by the CDC, fully supported by the facts, but slanting the facts to the meaning most desirable to them.

Let’s look at the statement which is the core of the CDC’s report:

“Since 1999, the number of prescriptions written for opioids has quadrupled, and the number of overdose deaths related to those drugs has nearly kept pace. According to the CDC, almost half a million Americans died from drug overdoses from 2000 to 2014,( and more than 60 percent of those deaths involved opioids“.

Lets look at the statement, that “the number of overdose deaths related to those drugs have nearly kept pace”.  First, we don’t know what number we’re considering, only the fact that the prescriptions quadrupled during those 17 years.  Let’s look at the source for their statement that almost half a million Americans died from drug overdoses from 2000 to 2014.  When you take the hyperlink, you are directed to:   – That article, Drug overdose deaths in the United States hit record numbers in 2014, states “More people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record. The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid. (footnote 1).

Footnote 1 takes you to yet another article, Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths.  It defines opioids as “”opioid pain relievers and heroin”.  Finally, in this article, the CDC defines “opioid pain relievers”.  The CDC’s following sentence clarifies its intent with respect to the definition for prescription opioids: “Historically, CDC has programmatically characterized all opioid pain reliever deaths (natural and semisynthetic opioids, methadone, and other synthetic opioids) as “prescription” opioid overdoses.”  

So, when the CDC gives statistics for prescription opioid overdoses, realize that includes all opioids.  There is never a distinction between illicit or “street” drugs and opioids that came from a legitimate pharmacy.

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