Thursday, December 01, 2016

State-level data shows where most opioid deaths occur; Ohio had the most, W.Va. had the top rate

Ohio leads the nation in opioid overdose deaths and West Virginia has the highest per-capita death rate, says a study by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention. The study found that the U.S. had 28,467 opioid-overdose deaths in 2014. The Kaiser Family Foundation used the study to create state-level data that found Ohio had the most opioid deaths with 2,106. California, which has more than three times the population of Ohio, was next, at 2,024, followed by New York (1,739), Florida (1,399) and Illinois (1,205). Ohio accounted for 7.4 percent of all opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2014.

West Virginia had the highest rate of opioid deaths, at 35.5 per every 100,000 people, states the CDC report. New Mexico was second at 27.3, followed by New Hampshire (26.2), Kentucky (24.7) and Ohio (24.6). "States with statistically significant increases in the rate of drug overdose deaths from 2013 to 2014 included Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia."

The Kaiser study totaled state-level data for total deaths and percentage of overdose deaths statewide and nationally for natural and semisynthetic opioids, synthetic opioids other than methadone, methadone, heroin and overall opioid deaths. (Screenshot of interactive Kaiser map: Opioid deaths in the U.S. in 2014, highlighting Ohio)
The opioid epidemic in Ohio has gotten worse since the CDC study's data period, Chris Stewart reports for the Journal-News in Dayton. The Ohio Department of Health reported 2,590 opioid deaths in 2015, a 23 percent increase from 2014. Helen Jones-Kelley, executive director of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Montgomery County, told Stewart, "We still have not peaked yet. That’s the scariest part.”

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