Drug Overdose Deaths In US Continue To Rise: CDC

Posted: Feb 27 2017, 12:43pm CST | by , Updated: Feb 27 2017, 12:52pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Drug Overdose Deaths in US Continue to Rise: CDC
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Deaths from drug overdose involving heroin tripled from 8% in 2010 to 25% in 2015

Despite all the efforts to reduce illegal or prescribed opioid use, deaths from drug overdoses continue to rise in United States and most of these overdose-related deaths are caused by heroin addiction. 

According to latest CDC report, in 2010, only 8 percent of drug overdose deaths involved heroin but by 2015, the lethal substance accounted for 25 percent of all drug overdose deaths, representing a sharp increase in heroin related deaths in just 5 years.

Overall, the rate of fatal drug overdoses has more than doubled since 1999. Drug overdose deaths have increased to 16.3 per 100,000 people in 2015 from 6.1 in 2009, which is 2.5 times more than that of 2009. The drug overdose death rate increased by about 10 percent per year from 1999 to 2006 and then slowed down a bit. The death rate stayed at 3 percent per year from 2006 to 2013 before rising by 9 percent per year from 2013 to 2015.

“The rates are still going up.” Dr. Holly Hedegaard, a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and coauthor of the report said.

As mentioned above, heroin overdose deaths tripled from 20110 to 2015. The rate of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl and tramadol, more than doubled during that time period, increasing from 8 percent in 2010 to 18 percent in 2015. Meantime, the percentage of deaths caused by methadone as well as by other opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone dropped in that time period.

In 2015, the four states with the highest drug overdose death rates were West Virginia, New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Ohio. In terms of age group, adults between 45 and 54 years old had the highest death rate from drug overdose at 30 deaths per 100,000 in 2015.

Lindsey Vuolo, an associate director at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse says. “Because heroin and synthetic opioids are cheaper than prescription opioids and more widely available in certain areas hit hard by the epidemic, a singular focus on reducing accessibility to prescription opioids misses the mark.”

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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