June 9, 2018

The Burden of Opioid-Related Mortality in the United States

In early June, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released The Burden of Opioid-Related Mortality in the United States, a study using a serial cross-sectional design to examine opioid-related deaths between 2001 and 2016.

The study defines “opioid-related deaths” as deaths where prescription or illicit opioids contributed substantially to an individual’s cause of death as determined by death certificate.

Among many findings, the study reports that:

  • 20% of deaths among those aged 25-34 were opioid-related in 2016, having risen from just 4% in 2001
  • Opioid-related deaths rose 345% from 2001 to 2016, or from 9,489 deaths to 42,245
  • Men accounted for 67.5% of opioid-related deaths
  • The median age for opioid-related death was 40
  • The percentage of deaths attributable to opioids increased from 0.4% of all deaths (1 in 255) in 2001 to 1.5% of all deaths (1 in 65) in 2016, a 292% increase

To learn more, read the report in full.

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