Friday, March 30, 2018

CDC MMWR - Opioids were involved in 66.4% of all drug overdose deaths in 2016

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
Weekly / March 30, 2018 / 67(12);349–358

Opioids were involved in 66.4% of all drug overdose deaths in 2016. The rate of opioid overdose deaths increased nearly 28% from the previous year.

Overdose Deaths Involving Opioids, Cocaine, and Psychostimulants — United States, 2015–2016 
Puja Seth, PhD1; Lawrence Scholl, PhD1,2; Rose A. Rudd, MSPH1; Sarah Bacon, PhD

What is already known about this topic?
From 1999 to 2015, the drug overdose epidemic resulted in approximately 568,699 deaths. In 2015, 52,404 drug overdose deaths occurred; 63.1% (33,091) involved an opioid. From 2014 to 2015, the age-adjusted opioid-involved death rate increased by 15.6%; the rapid increase in deaths was driven in large part by synthetic opioids other than methadone (e.g., fentanyl).

What is added by this report?

In 2016, there were 63,632 drug overdose deaths in the United States. Opioids accounted for 66.4% (42,249) of deaths, with increases across age groups, racial/ethnic groups, urbanization levels, and multiple states. Age-adjusted death rates for overdoses involving synthetic opioids other than methadone doubled from 2015 to 2016, and death rates from prescription opioids, heroin, cocaine, and psychostimulants also increased.

What are the implications for public health practice?

There is an urgent need to implement a multifaceted, collaborative public health and public safety approach. Building on existing resources, more rapidly available and comprehensive surveillance data are needed to track emerging drug threats to guide public action to prevent and respond to the epidemic through increased naloxone availability, harm reduction services, linkage into treatment (including medication-assisted treatment), safe prescribing practices, and supporting law enforcement strategies to reduce the illicit drug supply.
Read the full report:

Recommended Reading
Epidemic worsened dramatically in 2016 across most demographics
by Judy George, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today March 29, 2018
Death rates for overdoses involving highly potent synthetic opioids other than methadone -- including illicitly manufactured fentanyl as well as the prescription kind -- more than doubled from 2015 to 2016, propelling an overall increase in opioid deaths of 27.9% in that one-year period, according to the CDC.

Synthetic opioids were present in 19,413 overdose deaths in 2016, up from 9,580 deaths in 2015, reported Puja Seth, PhD, of the CDC in Atlanta and colleagues in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. They accounted for 30.5% of all drug overdose deaths and 45.9% of all opioid-involved deaths in 2016.
Continue reading @ MedPage Today

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