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    NBC4: Older age groups more affected by deadly overdoses, new CDC data says

    By Eric Halperin
    WCMH – NBC4

    Two local doctors say recently released data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention echoes what they have been experiencing at their addiction treatment center.

    “Drug overdose isn’t just an issue for the young,” Dr. Trupti Patel and Dr. Beth West wrote in a blog for Maryhaven.

    They wrote about data from the CDC which shows the 35- to 44-year-old age group had the highest rates of fatal overdose in 2021 and 2022.

    “This data sadly echoes our experiences at Maryhaven,” the doctors wrote. “We resuscitate people from overdose an average of two to three times a week in our intake area, and the majority of those we serve fall between the ages of 35 and 45.”

    There are several reasons for this, according to the doctors and other team members at Maryhaven. The blog discussed brain maturity, the process of change, recovery not being linear, mental health challenges in a post-Covid world, and dangerous drugs all as factors.

    Adam Jurich, Vice President of Nursing Services at Maryhaven, said socioeconomic causes lingering from the pandemic and the presence of fentanyl are impacting this too.

    “Misconception is there are gateway drugs, trauma is pretty much the primary gateway drug. People have socioeconomic trauma, emotional trauma, psychological trauma, financial trauma, you name it, trauma seems to be a common occurrence with our people,” Jurich said.

    Ronald Lockhart is currently at Maryhaven. He has been sober for more than a year but previously struggled with alcohol, painkillers, heroin, and drugs he did not know were laced with fentanyl. He’s 59 but said his situation worsened when he was around 40.

    “That’s kind of surprising to me a little bit but not really, I mean drugs are bad right now, and they’re so easy to get, it’s just they’re everywhere,” Lockhart said about the CDC data. “If I can make it through all that and get to where I’m at, anybody can do this, man. Just get the help, ask for help.”