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Huffington Post, December 26, 2016: Parents Apparently Overdose At Home, Baby Daughter Starves To Death Days Later
After two young parents died of apparent drug overdoses in their Pennsylvania home, their baby died of starvation in her bassinet some four days later, according to authorities.
Summer Chambers, five months old, and her parents Jason Chambers, 27, and Chelsea Cardaro, 19, were all found dead on Thursday in the family’s home in the Kernville section of Johnstown, a town about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh, the Tribune-Democrat reported.
This isn't exactly the kind of news that people may want to read over the Christmas holidays. The article links to another article:
Heroin Deaths Topped Gun Homicides Last Year, Depressing CDC Data Shows
Heroin deaths surpassed gun homicide deaths last year for the first time in more than 15 years, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Opioid deaths hit 33,091 in 2015, quadrupling since 1999. Heroin deaths in particular rose 23 percent year over year to 12,989; synthetic opioid deaths rose 73 percent to 9,580.
As the article states, more than 20 million Americans have a substance use problem, and 12.5 million misuse prescriptions painkillers. Many of these people became addicts unknowingly as a result of aggressive marketing and overprescription of opioids in the 1980s-90s. Long term use (two months or longer) can evolve into addiction according to a new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey which showed that a third of Americans who took a prescription opioid for two months or longer became addicted to or physically dependent on painkillers.
Congress has approved $1 billion in grant money to fight the opioid epidemic as part of the 21st Century Cures Act, but it is hard to say how it will help the 20 million Americans with a substance abuse problem. The two young parents who died of overdoses are not bad people...they paid the ultimate price as did their baby daughter.