Opioids aren't the only people-killing drugs!


Opioids aren't the only people-killing drugs!

An article in the Annals of Internal Medicine : Trends in U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths in Non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and Non-Hispanic White Persons, 2000–2015Meredith S. Shiels, PHD, MHS; Neal D. Freedman, PhD, MPH; David Thomas, PhD; Amy Berrington de Gonzalez, DPhil, which was published on December 5, 2017 had some key interesting points:

Looking at death records, it was determined that: Opioids were the most common contributor to overdose deaths in NHW persons, but cocaine was the largest contributor among NHB men and women over all periods (Figure 2). Between 2012 and 2015, cocaine-related overdose deaths were nearly as common in NHB men as deaths due to natural/semisynthetic opioids in NHW men (7.6 vs. 7.9 per 100 000 person-years) and somewhat more common in NHB women than deaths due to heroin in NHW women (3.1 vs. 2.7 per 100 000 person-years). (NHB - non hispanic black, NHW non hispanic white) and Opioids were the most common contributor to overdose deaths in NHW persons, but cocaine was the largest contributor among NHB men and women over all periods (Figure 2). Between 2012 and 2015, cocaine-related overdose deaths were nearly as common in NHB men as deaths due to natural/semisynthetic opioids in NHW men (7.6 vs. 7.9 per 100 000 person-years) and somewhat more common in NHB women than deaths due to heroin in NHW women (3.1 vs. 2.7 per 100 000 person-years).

Our findings show that cocaine-related overdose deaths in NHB persons are on par with heroin- and prescription opioid–related deaths in NHW women and men and that cocaine is a consistent and important contributor to deaths in Hispanic and NHW persons. These deaths are an important, long-term public health problem that is often overlooked. Because approximately 20% of the death certificates reporting deaths classified as unintentional overdoses are missing a contributing drug, our results are probably underestimates.

The above are pieces from the Annals article. Opioids have received a lot of attention, but overdoses and death span across multiple drugs.

Trends in U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths in Non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and Non-Hispanic White Persons, 2000–2015

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