Friday, 18 January, 2019

Almost All Overdose Deaths Involve Multiple Drugs, Federal Report Shows

Almost All Overdose Deaths Involve Multiple Drugs, Federal Report Shows Fentanyl overtakes heroin as the No. 1 opioid overdose killer
Melissa Porter | 15 December, 2018, 03:35

Overall, more than 63,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016, according to the new report, which was prepared by the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The drugs most commonly involved in drug overdose deaths during 2011 to 2016 include fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone, and cocaine, according to the December 12 issue of the National Vital Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The synthetic drug, fentanyl, has surpassed heroin as the deadliest drug in the United States, taking more than 18,000 lives in 2016, federal health officials said yesterday.

"The drugs that ranked 11-15 varied from year to year and included such drugs as diphenhydramine, citalopram, acetaminophen, carisoprodol, tramadol, oxymorphone and amitrip", the CDC said.

While the new study left off at 2016, recent CDC data showed that the rate of drug overdoses involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids increased by 45% between 2016 and 2017 - evidence that these potent narcotics are not going away.

It's the first time the synthetic opioid has been the nation's deadliest drug. "It's not really what's happening". "A lot of the deaths that mention fentanyl also mention heroin, and a lot of the deaths that mention cocaine also mention fentanyl", she explained.

In 2016, about 70 percent of fatal overdoses involving fentanyl or heroin involved another drug as well, and roughly 74 percent of fatal overdoses involving cocaine also involved one or more other drugs. Heroin and fentanyl were mostly the reasons behind accidental overdose, while prescription meds such as oxycodone and hydrocodone were the most used in suicide overdoses.

The number of total drug overdoses jumped 54% each year between 2011 and 2016.

In the 2011-16 period examined, the number of drug overdoses involving methadone has dropped.

The rest of the top 10 drugs involved in overdose deaths include morphine, oxycodone, alprazolam, diazepam, cocaine and methamphetamine.

Fentanyl is now the most commonly used drug involved in drug overdoses in the US.

The report also highlights the importance for accurate reporting in the text of death certificates.