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IVP & Safe States News: Prescription Drug

Overdose Deaths Involving Opioids, Cocaine, and Psychostimulants

Friday, April 6, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Julie Alonso
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U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Continue to Rise

Increase Fueled by Synthetic Opioids


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report today that takes a deeper look at 2016 drug overdose death data showing how the problem is increasing across several demographics and spreading geographically in the U.S. The report found that deaths increased in all categories of drugs examined for men and women, people ages 15 and older, all races and ethnicities, and across all levels of urbanization.


Data analyzed reaffirm increases in drug overdose deaths are driven in large part by continued sharp increases in deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, such as illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF). Drug overdoses killed 63,632 Americans in 2016, and nearly two-thirds of those deaths (66%) involved a prescription or illicit opioid.


The analysis of data from 31 states (and Washington, D.C.) from 2015 to 2016 showed:

· The largest increase in opioid overdose death rates was in males between the ages of 25-44.

· Overall drug overdose death rates increased by 21.5%

o Synthetic opioids (other than methadone) related overdose death rate more than doubled –

likely driven by IMF

o Prescription opioid related overdose death rate increased by 10.6%

o Heroin related overdose death rate increased by 19.5%

· Death rates from overdoses involving synthetic opioids increased in 21 states, with 10 states doubling their rates from 2015 to 2016.


CDC’s Overdose Prevention in States initiatives include: funding for state-level public health efforts in 45 states and Washington, D.C., providing states with resources to prevent opioid misuse and overdose by tracking and monitoring the epidemic, helping states scale up effective programs, and equipping health care providers with tools and guidance needed to make informed clinical decisions. CDC is also working with High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) on the Heroin Response Strategy to increase uptake of community interventions that address the impact of illicit opioids.

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