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Home News 320,881 Drug Overdose Deaths Since 2012 – Up 13.6% In 2017*

320,881 Drug Overdose Deaths Since 2012 – Up 13.6% In 2017*

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Say goodbye to the entire population of Miami Florida. That’s approximately the number of people who died from drug overdose poisoning between 2012 and 2017.

According to the CDC, there have been 320,881 overdose deaths from 2012 to 2017. The bar graph below illustrates the number of drug-related deaths since 1999. From 2002 to 2012 there was a gradual increase in death rate. However, from 2012 through 2017 there was nearly a 75% increase in the annual, age-adjusted number of overdoses.

  • 41,502 – (2012)
  • 43,982 – (2013)
  • 47,055 – (2014)
  • 52,404 – (2015)
  • 63,632 – (2016)
  • 72,306 – (2017*)

72,306 Overdose Deaths Last Year – Up 13.6% From 2016

According to the latest CDC report an estimated 72,306 Americans died from a drug-related overdose last year. That is a 13.6% increase from 2016. Opioids, including heroin, accounted for 68% of the total body count.

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, and the leading cause of death of Americans under the age of 50.

There have been 320,881 overdose deaths from 2012 to 2017. The bar graph below illustrates the number of drug-related deaths since 2002. From 2002 to 2012 there was a gradual increase in death rate. However, from 2012 through 2017 there was nearly a 75% increase in the annual, age-adjusted number of overdoses.

Percentage Change From 2016 To 2017 By State

Overdose statistics in three states that border Nebraska actually dropped. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2016 there were 2.4 opioid-related overdose deaths per 100,000 in Nebraska – significantly lower than the 13.3 deaths per 100,000 national average that same year. The 12 states with a lower number of overdoses include;

The only state in which overdose deaths remained the same was Idaho, where the number of predicted cases in both the 2017 and 2018 CDC Provisional Counts data was 228.

12 States Reported Fewer Overdoses

By contrast, Wyoming has a -33.3 percent predicted change (from 91 to 61), and most states in the central region (including North and South Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico) reported declining overdose rates.

  • Wyoming (-33%)
  • Utah (-11.9%)
  • Oklahoma (-9.2%)

In Utah, the number dropped from 751 to 662 (-11.9 percent), while Hawaii, Vermont, and Rhode Island reported -5.1, -5.8, and -7.1 percent respectively. Massachusetts and Mississippi also saw modest declines of -1.1 and -1.8 percent compared to 2016.

Opioids Overdoses Up 16% in 2017*

Opioid-related overdoses are still the leading cause of drug-related deaths. This graph clearly illustrates the number of overdoses involving opioids since 2002. Although the rate of increase was lower than 2015-2016, the 49,068 total opioid deaths last year was a 16% increase from 2016.

Fentanyl’s Death-Toll Rise 66% in 2017*

Synthetic opioids were predominant in an estimated 29,406 deaths in 2017, up from 19,413 deaths the previous year, a 66% increase. Fentanyl is considered as much as 50 times stronger than heroin and therefore is an underlying cause of many multiple, drug-related overdoses.

The synthetic opioid Fentanyl can sometimes be used to “cut” drugs in order to enhance the other drug’s potency. There are other theories to finding both cocaine and fentanyl in a victim’s toxicology report.

According to the CDC’s 2016 report, over half of people in 10 states who died of opioid overdoses during the second half of 2016 tested positive for fentanyl, according to new data published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Early Release.

It found a total of 5,152 opioid overdose deaths, almost 3,000 tested positive for fentanyl, and over 700 tested positive for drugs that have similar chemical structures to fentanyl (fentanyl analogs) – including the extremely potent fentanyl analog, carfentanil, which is used to sedate large animals.

Cocaine Deaths Up 37% in 2017*

Experts are trying to call attention to the fact that cocaine-related deaths 14,556 in 2017 alone – are closing in on overdoses related to heroin and other opioids. There were 10,619 cocaine deaths in 2016. In 2017, there were 14,556 cocaine-related overdose deaths, a 37% increase. Not only is a cocaine overdose painful, it can be the precursor to a fatal stroke, heart attack or seizure.

15,958* Heroin Overdoses In 2017 – Up 2.5%

There was some relatively encouraging news about heroin overdoses in the latest 2017 estimate figures. The death-toll rose 2.5%, from 15,564 in 2016 to15,958 last year. Some of this drop in death rate could be credited to the federal government’s new policies. The other factor is the “fentanyl factor”. Fentanyl is cheaper than heroin to produce and easier to obtain. Still, nearly 16,000 heroin-related deaths last year average’s nearly 45 every day.

 

(graphics courtesy of the CDC)

*projected estimate

 

References

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2017/10/11/830a96ee-aec8-11e7-be94-fabb0f1e9ffb_story.html?utm_term=.a9105617aea4

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm

https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/nebraska-opioid-summary

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/index.htm

https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/health_policy/monthly-drug-overdose-death-estimates.pdf

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