Overdoses Increasing – With or Without Opioids

Nonopioid Overdose Death Rates Rose Almost As Fast As Those Involving Opioids, 1999-2016 – July 2019

A very recent PubMed study counting all the non-opioid overdose deaths shows the “crisis” is about overdoses from all kinds of illicit drugs, not only opioids (heroin, fentanyl) and certainly not from prescribed medication.

The number of Americans dying from drug overdoses has risen rapidly, but the contribution of nonopioid drugs to this growth is not well understood. Using vital statistics data from the universe of deaths among US residents in the period 1999-2016, I calculated levels of and increases in overall nonopioid fatal overdose rates and those for subgroups stratified by manner of death, sex, race/ethnicity, and age.

From 1999 to 2016 the number of nonopioid drug deaths rose 274 percent, and deaths per 100,000 population rose by 223 percent. Over the same period, opioid-involved fatality counts and rates grew by 371 percent and 307 percent, respectively.

Fatal overdose rates involving stimulants increased more than tenfold, with slower growth but higher rates for deaths involving sedatives and cocaine.

3 thoughts on “Overdoses Increasing – With or Without Opioids

    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      Your comment made me think about how hard it is to persuade people to change their views, even when you show them facts and data. I’ll probably be posting about this soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. canarensis

        IMO, it is really like religion — the “I refuse to look at or listen to any contradictory facts” thing, –not just with opioids, but just about anything people get really invested in; politics springs to mind. Look at how many people still insist on Sump, Right or Wrong, no matter how many vile things come out. Beliefs trump (so to speak) all, facts are…completely ignored. God knows there’ve been enough psych studies on how people refuse to change their minds once they make a decision even when the evidence is undeniable that they’re insisting on staying a self-defeating or -damaging course.

        I look forward to a post on this sort of thing, whenever you get to it.

        Liked by 1 person


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