Drug overdose deaths declined in 2018 after years of increases, according to preliminary government data released Wednesday.
“The latest provisional data on overdose deaths show that America’s united efforts to curb opioid use disorder and addiction are working,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “Lives are being saved, and we’re beginning to win the fight against this crisis.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics concluded, based on the provisional data, that overdose deaths declined by 5.1% between 2017 to 2018. The steepest declines occurred primarily in areas that have been hit hardest by the opioid crisis, such as Ohio, Kentucky, South Dakota, and Alaska.
“President Trump and HHS will continue to provide the resources and support communities, families, and individuals in our collective efforts to prevent and treat addiction,” Azar said.