Fatal heroin overdoses triple — CDC

Posted February 25, 2017

Overall, the rate of fatal overdoses from all drugs has increased more than 2.5 times since 1999, rising from 6.1 deaths per 100,000 people then to 16.3 deaths in 2015, according to the new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New figures by the USA government show the rate of fatal drug overdoses in the United States more than doubled since 1999, as authorities in several parts of the country grapple with America's continuing opioid epidemic. Drug overdose deaths increased the most for adults aged 55 to 64, from 4.2 per 100,000 in 1999 to 21.8 in 2015, the last year for which data is available, up an average of 10.5% per year.

Among the age groups, the hardest hit is the 45-to-54 group.

In 2015, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths among non-Hispanic white persons (21.1 per 100,000) was almost 3.5 times the rate in 1999 (6.2).

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Four states - West Virginia, New Hampshire, Kentucky and OH - lead the nation with the highest overdose death rates, the CDC said.

While the number of heroin-related deaths quadrupled from 2010 to 2015, the percentage share of all overdose deaths that were related to heroin tripled, from 8 percent to 25 percent. The suicide rate is 13.4 deaths per 100,000 and the rate of deaths from auto accidents is 11.1 deaths per 100,000 people.

Bolstered by a huge increase in cases involving heroin, the rate at which Americans die from drug overdoses has more than doubled since the end of the millennium.

Different age groups were also hit far harder by fatal opioid overdose than others. Additionally, researchers discovered the rate of fatal drug overdoses has doubled since 1999.

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Heroin-related deaths in the USA skyrocketed in the span of five years, amounting to a quarter of all overdose deaths by 2015, according to new federal data, presenting another grim snapshot of America's opioid epidemic. "Heroin is part of America's larger drug abuse problem".

Dr. Corey Slovis, chairman of department of emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and medical director of the National Fire Department and National Airport, said the current drug epidemic is "the worst that I've ever seen it", according to ABC.

"You are 40 times more likely to use heroin if you stated with opioid painkillers", Hamburg said.

This increase occurred despite growing awareness of the opioid epidemic and a rise in funding for opioid addiction treatment, said Mooney, who was not involved in the research.

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