The Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration have proposed decreases in manufacturing quotas for several common opioids by an average of 10 percent in 2019, according to a DOJ press release. They have proposed reducing the production of fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, morphine, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. This is the third year in a row of proposed cuts. Meanwhile, opioid deaths are skyrocketing. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated that 49,068 people had deaths involving opioids in 2017, up from 42,249 in 2016. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 72,300 people died of drug overdoses last year. The release said the cuts will “help reduce the amount of drugs potentially diverted for trafficking and used to facilitate addiction” and “encourage vigilance on the part of opioid manufacturers.” It also said the country will still have enough opioids for legitimate medical, scientific, research, and industrial purposes.
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