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Opioid overdose deaths just jumped again

Opioid overdose deaths just jumped again

"Heroin is part of America's larger drug abuse problem", said Mr. Hamburg.

Adults between 45 and 54 years old had the highest death rate from drug overdoses at 30 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a USA federal agency which monitors and advises on health trends in the United States, the country's heroin addiction is linked to a long-seen and rising trend of prescription painkiller abuse. In 2010, only 8 percent of all drug overdose deaths involved heroin, but by 2015, 25 percent involved heroin, the report said.

Overdose deaths are so common that they're driving down the average life expectancy for white Americans, said Salsitz, who is with Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.

The study found that overdose rates rose for Hispanic people and non-Hispanic black people and at an average rate of two percent per year.

The researchers also found that the percentage of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl and tramadol, more than doubled during that time period, increasing from 8 percent in 2010 to 18 percent in 2015.

Those were the racial groups highlighted in the report.

The highest rates of drug overdose deaths occurred in West Virginia, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio.

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"The rates are still going up", said Dr. Holly Hedegaard, a coauthor of the report and a medical epidemiologist at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

The center's research was based on death certificate data and did not examine the underlying causes.

"It's that it's not just heroin anymore between the fentanyl [and] of the synthetic variants including carfentanil" an elephant tranquilizer, said Slovis.

West Virginia, New Hampshire, Kentucky, and OH had the highest drug overdose death rates. But previous studies have found that the recent increase in drug overdose deaths has occurred alongside an increase in prescriptions for opioid pain relievers.

During the 16-year study period, the rate of overdose deaths among white people almost quadrupled, from 6 deaths per 100,000 people in 1999 to 21 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015.

In 2010, 29% of fatal overdoses involved so-called "natural" and "semisynthetic" opioids (morphine, oxycodone), while only about 12% involved methadone, a "synthetic" opioid.

"You are 40 times more likely to use heroin if you stated with opioid painkillers", Hamburg said.

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