Regional Differences in the Drugs Most Frequently Involved in Drug Overdose Deaths: United States, 2017October 25, 2019
NCHS report describes regional differences in the specific drugs most frequently involved in drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2017. Data from the 2017 National Vital Statistics System–Mortality files were linked to electronic files containing literal text information from death certificates.
- Among drug overdose deaths in 2017 that mentioned at least 1 specific drug on the death certificate, the 10 drugs most frequently involved included fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, alprazolam, oxycodone, morphine, methadone, hydrocodone, and diphenhydramine.
- Regionally, 6 drugs (alprazolam, cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, methadone, and oxycodone) were found among the 10 most frequently involved drugs in all 10 HHS regions, although the relative ranking varied by region.
- Age-adjusted rates of drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl or deaths involving cocaine were higher in the regions east of the Mississippi River, while age-adjusted rates for drug overdose deaths involving methamphetamine were higher in the West.
- The regional patterns observed did not change after adjustment for differences in the specificity of drug reporting.
QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Rates of Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Heroin, by Race/Ethnicity — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 1999–2017September 20, 2019
From 1999 to 2005, the overall age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving heroin in the United States remained stable at approximately 0.7 deaths per 100,000 population.
The rate increased slightly from 0.7 in 2005 to 1.0 in 2010 and further increased to a high of 4.9 in 2016 and 2017.
From 2010 to 2017, rates generally increased for each of the racial/ethnic groups shown, with the highest rates observed for non-Hispanic whites. In 2017, the rates were 6.1 for non-Hispanic whites, 4.9 for non-Hispanic blacks, and 2.9 for Hispanics.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System mortality data. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/deaths.htm.