(WCJB)-- A recent CDC report shows that over 70,000 people in the U.S. Died of drug overdoses in 2017, and opioids were involved in almost 70% of those deaths. Tv20's Shawna Khalafi tells us about a national resource working to lower that statistic.
Director of Data & Health IT at Addiction Policy Forum Kelly King says "nationally, we're losing 192 people a day to overdose based on the recent CDC report. That means that more people are dying as a result of a drug overdose than motor vehicle fatalities in our country for the first time."
King says Alachua County has Florida's second highest rate of teens and young adults abusing prescription drugs. Although it can be difficult to talk to a loved one you think might be suffering from addiction, she says seeking treatment as soon as possible could mean the difference between life and death.
"You never know if you're the one that is actually going to make a difference, and those conversations are hard, but they are imperative," King says.
When it comes to choosing a treatment plan for yourself or a loved one, the addiction policy forum is aiming to simplify the process. King explains "it can be really complicated, and I don't think there's much information out there about how to make the best choice, and this decision is too important to just pick one off the list."
They provide an online directory as well as a phone line to help you find the best treatment plan for each person based on criteria such as level of care, insurance status, and in-patient versus out-patient facilities.
For more information on the addiction policy forum and to search for treatment facilities in your area, click here.