Opioid Overdose Deaths

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Opioid Overdose Deaths

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says opioids are a factor in twothirds of the accidental overdose deaths in the United States. At a time when the country seems hopelessly divided, health officials remind us of something that unites Americans from all walks of life: deaths tied to opioid overdoses. A recent report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presents some alarming new statistics about the opioid epidemic that claim the opioid epidemic is evolving:


The number of accidental opioid overdose deaths in the United States in 2016. That figure represents 66 percent of all drug overdose deaths that year.


The age-adjusted rate of opioid overdose deaths in 2016. That means that for every 100,000 Americans, 13.3 died from taking a powerful dose of opioids. By adjusting for age, researchers can estimate how many deaths there would have been if every state had the same age distribution of residents. Then they can make comparisons between states that skew younger and states with a higher proportion of elderly people.


That’s how much the opioid overdose death rate increased in just one year, between 2015 and 2016. In 2015, there were 10.4 opioid overdose deaths per 100,000 people.


The increase in fatal opioid-related overdoses among Americans categorized as non-Hispanic blacks between 2015 and 2016. That was the biggest increase seen in any racial or ethnic group. Asians and Pacific Islanders came in second at 36.4 percent, followed by Latinos at 32.6 percent. Among whites, the opioid-related overdose death rate increased by 25.9 percent, and among Native Americans it rose 14.9 percent.


For every 100,000 residents of West Virginia, that’s how many died in 2016 after overdosing on an opioid. It was the highest age-adjusted death rate among the states with reliable data. Other states with high death rates included New Hampshire (35.8 deaths per 100,000 people), Ohio (32.9 deaths per 100,000 people), the District of Columbia (30 deaths per 100,000 people), Maryland (29.7 deaths per 100,000 people) and Massachusetts (also 29.7 deaths per 100,000 people).


The opioid overdose death rate for Texas. This was the lowest rate among the states in the study.


That’s the nationwide increase in deaths caused by prescription opioid medications. In 2015, there were 15,281 such deaths; by 2016, there were 17,087.


The nationwide increase in fatal overdoses linked to synthetic opioids other than methadone. In other words, the death rate associated Opioid Overdose Deaths RESILIENT HEALTH | June 2018 23 with these drugs doubled between 2015 and 2016.


That’s how much the death rate due to synthetic opioids increased among Latinos, Asians and Pacific Islanders between 2015 and 2016. In other words, it tripled.


The number of times the CDC report mentions illicitly manufactured fentanyl, or IMF. The researchers said IMF is “highly potent” and is probably fueling the spike in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids. “IMF is now being mixed into counterfeit opioid and benzodiazepine pills, heroin, and cocaine, likely contributing to increases in overdose death rates involving other substances,” they wrote.


For every 100,000 people living in the United States, that’s how many died of a heroin overdose in 2016. The rate was nearly 20 percent higher in 2016 than it was in 2015.


The death rate due to heroin overdoses in the District of Columbia. At the other end of the spectrum were Oklahoma and Hawaii, both of which had 1.4 deaths per 100,000 people.

The number of “waves” in the epidemic of opioid overdose deaths, according to the CDC researchers. The first wave began in the 1990s, a result of prescription pain medications. The second wave followed in 2010, marked by fatal overdoses of heroin. The current wave can be traced to the rise of IMF and other synthetic opioids, beginning in 2013. By 2016, these drugs were responsible for 45.9 percent of all opioid-related overdose deaths in the U.S.

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