Heroin-related overdose deaths quadrupled from 2010-15 - U.S. govt

Posted February 26, 2017

The states with the highest age-adjusted intrastate rates of overdose deaths in 2015 were West Virginia (41.5 deaths per 100,000), New Hampshire (34.3), Kentucky (29.9), OH (29.9) and Rhode Island (28.2), while 16 other states also had death rates higher than the national rate of overdose deaths (16.3).

The House gave unanimous first-round approval to the bill Thursday. Many who have been abusing opioid have switched to heroin because of its low price. From 2010 to 2015 death rate because of heroin overdose has quadrupled. Opioids killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any year on record, according to the CDC, which estimates that 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

Authors of the study note in 2010 only eight percent of all fatal drug overdoses stemmed from heroin. However, only five years later that number rose more than two times to reach the 18 percent mark.

For example, while fatal overdoses involving so-called "natural", "semi-synthetic", and "synthetic" opioids (morphine, oxycodone, methadone) all fell between 2010 and 2015, the percentage of fatal overdoses involving heroin tripled.

Generation X and baby boomer had the biggest jump in deaths from drug overdoses.

The states with the highest rates of overdose deaths in 2015 were West Virginia, New Hampshire, Kentucky and OH, the study found.

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Overdoses increased in all age groups. Overall rates of drug overdose deaths have continued to steadily increase in a decade and half, with 2015 having 2.5 times the rate of overdose deaths in 1999 (16.3 per 100,000 people, versus 6.1).

In this issue, Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of Brandeis University's Opioid Policy Research Center, states that this shift is only one side of the coin, as since 2010, "overdoses involving heroin has skyrocketed".

Tom Wolf previously said heroin and opioid overdoses are now Pennsylvania's leading cause of accidental deaths.

To try to stop overdose deaths, access has been increased to naloxone (Narcan), a drug used to reverse an opioid overdose, Vuolo said.

Four states - West Virginia, New Hampshire, Kentucky and OH - lead the nation with the highest overdose death rates, the CDC said. In the report, only moderate evidence of the association with cannabis and the development of substance dependence and/or substance abuse with alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drugs was found in people using medical marijuana.

44 percent of patients undergoing buprenorphine treatment are also receiving opioid prescriptions, as 67 percent of patients that already underwent the treatment are also acquiring the drugs.