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Drug Overdose Deaths On The Rise In US, Mortality Rate Rose Twice Since 1999

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A new report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the rate of deaths due to drug overdose in the U.S. has more than doubled since 1999.

Researchers analyzed the data submitted by the National Vital Statics System and observed the effects of drug overdose on people across the nation from 1999 to 2015.  

What Does The Reports Reveal?

The report by CDC suggests that people in their mid 40s and 60s were greatly affected by the drug overdose, although all age groups were at a risk of dying.

Dr. Caleb Alexander, one of the co-directors for the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness, states that the overdose deaths are increasing at an alarming rate each year. He added that 2016 recorded the largest number of deaths due to opioids.

Statistics Of Drug Related Deaths

The study revealed that in 1999, only 6.1 deaths out of every 100,000 were caused due to drug overdose, while in 2015, it went up to 16.3 deaths per 100,000 people.

Previous figures revealed by CDC also indicate that the total number of deaths by opioid overdoses increased four times.

More than 33,000 people were killed by opioids in 2015. It is estimated that every day around 91 U.S. citizens are killed due to opioids.

Moreover, it is believed that in the period between 2000 and 2015, around 5 million people in the country overdosed on opioids. Taking a heavy toll on death rates, synthetic opioid contributed to 18 percent of deaths in 2015, while in 2010 being just 8 percent.

Deaths due to heroin tripled from 8 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2015. Death due to cocaine increased to 13 percent in 2015 from 2010's figure of 11 percent.

However, there was a decrease of death rate due to semi synthetic and natural opioids. In 2010, it accounted for 29 percent and declined to 24 percent in 2015.

The states which felt the effect of rising drug overdose most in 2015 were New Hampshire, West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.

Reason For The Sudden Increase

The new report from CDC suggests that the increased use of drugs is closely related to the price cut of heroin and also the increase in its purity. Several opioid and heroin crisis have been observed by U.S. authorities leading to such horrifying statistics.

"Due to its falling price, heroin can cost as little as one-tenth that of prescription pills," said Rich Hamburg, executive vice president of the non-profit group.

Hamburg added that people are more likely to use heroin if they have started consuming opioid painkillers.

Photo: Luca Serazzi | Flickr

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