By Katia Dmitrieva | 23 October 2018
BLOOMBERG — While the opioid epidemic keeps claiming the lives of Americans, deaths from another drug are picking up.
In the 12 months through March, overdose deaths from cocaine rose 22 percent from a year earlier to 14,205, according to data last week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, 46,655 people died from opioid overdoses in the same period, down 2.7 percent from the peak of 47,944 in 2017.
The figures might be a sign that the opioid epidemic is in its later stages, according to Daniel Ciccarone, a professor at the University of California at San Francisco. “We could interpret this as good news because the heroin cycle could be peaking or waning,” he said.
While cocaine mortality has increased, opioids could still be the culprit behind the scenes. There’s been a rise in users knowingly or unknowingly ingesting cocaine laced with other drugs — synthetic opioids in particular — and the National Institute on Drug Abuse says the phenomenon is at least partly to blame for the recent rise of cocaine-user deaths. […]