Overdose deaths are an emerging public health epidemic. Nationwide, they more than doubled between 2000 and 2006. More people died in the U.S. from overdose in 2006 than from HIV/AIDS or homicide. Significant federal funding is directed toward preventing HIV/AIDS and homicide, but virtually no federal dollars are designated for overdose prevention.
This serious but largely overlooked national crisis has taken root in Texas -- and the numbers are startling. Between 1999 and 2007, overdose deaths in Texas increased by more than 150 percent. Government officials and the public have largely ignored this hidden crisis and the available solutions that could save lives.