Heroin Deaths in U.S. more than Double in 3 Years as White Men Lead Overdose Growth
The number of deaths from heroin overdoses more than doubled in three years, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2010, there were 3,036 deaths in the United States involving heroin overdoses, a rate of 1.0 per 100,000 population. By 2013, the number had jumped to 8,257, a rate of 2.7 per 100,000.
The demographics of the overdose victims have changed almost as dramatically. In 2000, African-Americans aged 45-64 had the highest rate of overdose deaths. By 2013, it was whites aged 18-44 who predominated. Men were far more likely to overdose than women; in 2013, 6,525 men overdosed for a rate of 4.2 per 100,000. In contrast, 1,732 women overdosed, a rate of 1.2 per 100,000.
Total heroin use by Americans aged 12 and older reached 681,000 in the past year, according data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Despite the increase in heroin deaths, many more people still die from overdoses of prescription opioid painkillers. There were 16,235 of those deaths in 2013, a rate of 5.1 per 100,000.
To Learn More:
Drug-Poisoning Deaths Involving Heroin: United States, 2000–2013 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) (pdf)
Study: Heroin Use Is Higher Than a Decade Ago (by Donna Leinwand Leger, USA Today)
Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) (pdf)
As Marijuana Goes Legal in U.S., Mexican Drug Cartels Pump up Heroin and Meth Sales (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Increasing Addiction to Prescription Opioids Fuels Rise in Heroin Overdose Deaths (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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