Substance Abuse

Heroin Overdose Deaths Tripled in Five Years, Says New CDC Study

heroin overdose needle

In its latest report regarding drug overdose fatalities in the U.S., the National Center for Health Statistics revealed that the percentage of deaths due to heroin overdose tripled from 2010 to 2015.

The office — which forms part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services — discovered that drug overdose fatalities involving heroin use jumped from 8 percent in 2010 to 25 percent five years later. The study, led by Dr. Holly Hedegaard, based their findings on data available from the National Vital Statistics System, as reported in a data brief from CDC.

This finding on heroin overdose deaths mirrors the extent of the drug problem in general, as the study reports an increase in drug-related deaths for all types of substances from 2010 (6.1 percent) to 2015 (16.3 percent).

In terms of demographics, people between 45 and 54 years of age registered the highest drug overdose death rates at 30 in every 100,000.

Aside from data on heroin abuse, deaths due to natural opioid drug use dipped from 29 percent to 24 percent over the same five-year period. Unfortunately, fatalities due to synthetic opioid use shot up from 8 percent in 2010 to 18 percent in 2015.

Death rates due to drug overdose were highest in West Virginia at 41.5 for every 100,000 people, followed by New Hampshire and Kentucky.

[Image from richiec via Wikimedia Creative Commons]

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