US has highest rate of drug overdoses, study says

The United States has more than double the rate of premature overdose deaths of at least 12...

Posted: Nov 13, 2018 4:57 AM
Updated: Nov 13, 2018 4:57 AM

The United States has more than double the rate of premature overdose deaths of at least 12 other countries, according to a new study.

The research, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, says that there were an estimated 63,632 drug overdose deaths in 2016 in the US.

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Controlled substances

Drug overdoses

Drugs and society

Health and medical

Pharmaceutical industry

Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology

Pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs

Society

Substance abuse

Continents and regions

Death rates

North America

Population and demographics

Population trends

Prescription drug abuse

The Americas

United States

Demographic groups

Females (demographic group)

Opioids

"The U.S. has the highest death rate due to drug overdoses for both men and women (35 deaths in 100,000 men and 20 deaths in 100,000 women) in 2015, more than double those of any other country in our study," Yingxi Chen, one of the researchers and a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute, wrote in an email.

Mexico had the lowest rates: 1 death per 100,000 men and 0.2 deaths per 100,000 women.

The researchers also found that the United States had the second-highest increase in drug overdose deaths: 4.3% per year in men and 5.3% per year in women, Chen said. Only Estonia had a higher increase.

Norway was found to have the biggest decrease in drug overdose mortality for the whole population. Decreases were also found among men and women in Mexico, Spanish men and Danish women.

Researchers "looked at the trends and patterns of drug overdose deaths among people age 20 to 64 years in 13 countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development between 2001-2015," Chen said.

These countries were Australia, Chile, Denmark, England, Wales (the data for these two countries was combined), Estonia, Finland, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the United States.

"I think it reinforces what we know about the United States but also points out some of the contrast in terms of the ways other countries have dealt with similar issues," said Caleb Banta-Green, principal research scientist at the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, who was not involved in the research.

Banta-Green and the researchers both point out that opioids play a part in the high levels of drug overdose deaths in the US.

The study describes US opioid deaths as "triple epidemic waves," starting with prescription opioid deaths in the late 1990s, heroin deaths beginning in 2010 and finally deaths due to synthetic opioids, which include fentanyl.

Other countries have found solutions to high rates of opioid-related deaths, according to Banta-Green, who cited France, which was not included in the research.

"When France got rid of the restrictions on prescribers using the medication buprenorphine, their national mortality, opiate overdose mortality rate dropped 79%," he said.

Buprenorphine is a drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration that can be used, alongside behavioral therapies and counseling, to help with the treatment of opioid addiction. It is the "first medication to treat opioid dependency that is permitted to be prescribed or dispensed in physician offices, significantly increasing treatment access," according to the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Banta-Green believes that creating better access to substance abuse disorder treatments, along with a better national understanding that these are treatable medical conditions, would help reduce the number of overdose-related deaths in the US. This includes giving more people access to medications that could help treat and manage opiate addiction.

"That's really fundamentally what I think we need to take away from these data finding is that there are solutions, other countries have them, and we are not doing the dramatic things that we need to be doing," he said.

West Lafayette
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Kokomo
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Rensselaer
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 75°
Fowler
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 73°
Williamsport
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 76°
Crawfordsville
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 74°
Frankfort
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 74°
Delphi
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 73°
Monticello
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 73°
Logansport
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 75°
Hotter & turning much more humid for the weekend.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 72254

Reported Deaths: 3023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15503725
Lake7447274
Elkhart476082
Allen3789161
St. Joseph337381
Hamilton2668105
Vanderburgh188813
Hendricks1833106
Cass17749
Johnson1719118
Porter126639
Clark117846
Tippecanoe117711
Madison91565
LaPorte88330
Howard87265
Kosciusko84012
Marshall77122
Bartholomew76647
Floyd76045
Monroe72230
Delaware70152
Dubois67612
Boone66246
Noble65929
Hancock64138
Vigo58610
Jackson5725
Warrick57030
LaGrange55610
Shelby54227
Grant52130
Dearborn49328
Morgan45934
Clinton4093
Henry37320
Wayne35410
White35410
Montgomery34821
Lawrence33627
Decatur33232
Harrison32123
Putnam2868
Miami2672
Daviess26320
Scott26310
Greene24634
Franklin23813
Jasper2272
DeKalb2264
Jennings22012
Gibson2144
Steuben2063
Ripley1977
Fayette1837
Perry18112
Carroll1772
Starke1767
Posey1670
Orange16624
Wabash1633
Wells1622
Fulton1612
Jefferson1552
Whitley1506
Knox1490
Tipton1336
Spencer1313
Washington1311
Huntington1213
Newton11510
Randolph1154
Clay1095
Sullivan1031
Adams952
Jay860
Owen841
Pulaski761
Rush744
Brown731
Fountain682
Blackford622
Ohio624
Benton600
Pike520
Parke511
Vermillion500
Switzerland450
Crawford440
Martin430
Union370
Warren221
Unassigned0202

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events