Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Deaths Tied to Fentanyl, Heroin Overdoses Drive U.S. Opioid Crisis

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Deaths Tied to Fentanyl, Heroin Overdoses Drive U.S. Opioid Crisis

Article excerpt

OPIOID-RELATED DEATHS continue to rise in the United States, with a 16% increase between 2014 and 2015 driven largely by overdoses of illegally manufactured fentanyl and heroin, according to a report released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC investigators analyzed drug-related mortality for 2010 through 2015 in a national statistics database for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as drug-related deaths by subcategories of drugs in 28 states for 2014 through 2015. They found that the rapidly evolving opioid epidemic has not only continued but worsened in many ways, across all demographics and geographical regions of the country, said Rose A. Rudd, MSPH, of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control in Atlanta, and her associates (MMWR. 2016 Dec 16;65:1-8).

Among their findings:

* Mortality from drug overdoses rose significantly over the 5-year study period, from 12.3 per 100,000 in 2010 to 16.3 per 100,000 in 2015. It rose in 30 states and in the District of Columbia, stayed stable in 19 states, and initially decreased but then rose again in 2 states (Florida and South Carolina).

* During the last year for which data are complete (2015), deaths from drug overdoses rose by approximately 12%, "signifying a continuing trend since 1999. …

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