US drug overdose deaths fell slightly in 2018

Drug overdose deaths in the United States declined 5.1% in 2018, according to...

Posted: Jul 18, 2019 12:29 PM

Drug overdose deaths in the United States declined 5.1% in 2018, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

The slight decline in drug overdose deaths marked the first such drop in decades.

"The reason to be hopeful is that for the past 25 years every year we experienced an increase in overdose deaths. This is the first time in 25 years that overdose deaths will not have increased and have come down a little bit," said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of Opioid Policy Research at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. Kolodny was not involved in the new data.

The National Center for Health Statistics estimates there were 68,557 drug overdose deaths in 2018. An estimated 47,590 involved opioids, and 31,897 involved synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl and tramadol.

The data will not be finalized until next year.

"There's light at the end of the tunnel," Kolodny said, but he added, "there's certainly nothing to celebrate because even with the slight reduction we're still experiencing an enormous death toll."

Additionally, "when you look at the national data, it masks what's happening on a regional level and on a state level," he said.

For instance, the mortality rate from synthetic opioids in 28 states more than doubled every two years from 1999 to 2016, according to a study published in the medical journal JAMA Network Open in February. At the national level, opioids were responsible for shaving 0.36 years off Americans' life expectancy in 2016, the study said. That's a greater loss of life than caused by guns or motor vehicle accidents.

Opioid prescribing has dropped since the CDC issued opioid prescribing guidelines in early 2016, which resulted both in doctors prescribing fewer opioids as well as insurers providing less coverage for opioids. Many experts have pointed to the overprescribing of painkillers as the root of the US opioid crisis, but say it then evolved into a heroin crisis and a fentanyl crisis.

In a statement, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that the Trump administration's efforts and community responses around the United States had increased the number of patients receiving medication-assisted treatment and overdose-reversing drugs, while opioid prescriptions had fallen.

"The latest provisional data on overdose deaths show that America's united efforts to curb opioid use disorder and addiction are working. Lives are being saved, and we're beginning to win the fight against this crisis," Azar said.

"While the declining trend of overdose deaths is an encouraging sign, by no means have we declared victory against the epidemic or addiction in general. This crisis developed over two decades and it will not be solved overnight."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 895229

Reported Deaths: 9462
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1749772017
Ramsey722701040
Dakota66032572
Anoka62513568
Washington39357355
Stearns32821275
St. Louis28761399
Wright25354211
Scott25329181
Olmsted21750127
Sherburne18478126
Carver1629166
Clay11923103
Blue Earth1126366
Rice11234138
Crow Wing11003122
Chisago974676
Kandiyohi9660106
Otter Tail9611126
Benton8815124
Beltrami801794
Goodhue786596
Douglas7689100
Itasca752796
Mower721349
Winona702756
McLeod694483
Isanti681383
Steele669431
Morrison663479
Becker620873
Polk591684
Freeborn550846
Carlton529474
Nobles521654
Lyon518761
Mille Lacs516573
Nicollet510960
Pine500641
Cass491252
Todd483642
Brown465057
Le Sueur445933
Meeker422357
Martin378143
Wabasha366010
Waseca365132
Dodge351511
Hubbard349848
Roseau307931
Fillmore299115
Wadena298239
Redwood277845
Houston266817
Renville264151
Faribault253032
Pennington247529
Sibley246917
Kanabec241536
Cottonwood225032
Chippewa216342
Aitkin215850
Pope203210
Watonwan194920
Yellow Medicine185423
Rock174728
Swift169322
Koochiching168123
Stevens164511
Jackson159216
Clearwater155720
Marshall151122
Murray150911
Pipestone148329
Lake129824
Lac qui Parle120025
Wilkin119416
Mahnomen104714
Norman10389
Grant9719
Big Stone9365
Lincoln8705
Kittson71523
Red Lake70710
Traverse5996
Unassigned572124
Lake of the Woods5235
Cook3020

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 520452

Reported Deaths: 7289
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk80319799
Linn32142424
Scott26637292
Black Hawk21974378
Woodbury20490258
Johnson19778105
Dubuque18515241
Pottawattamie15890213
Dallas15320113
Story1380258
Warren8450104
Cerro Gordo7964123
Clinton7725114
Webster7326122
Des Moines7098105
Marshall669093
Muscatine6645117
Wapello6441144
Jasper619591
Sioux610177
Lee5908105
Marion557897
Buena Vista502149
Plymouth488388
Henry418655
Benton404859
Jones404862
Unassigned40470
Bremer395372
Washington391463
Boone389739
Carroll367755
Mahaska365365
Crawford353747
Dickinson314655
Jackson307747
Buchanan305741
Clay295536
Delaware294654
Kossuth289077
Fayette286353
Hardin284353
Tama279777
Page272533
Wright266149
Cedar265527
Hamilton259857
Winneshiek258143
Floyd255449
Clayton244459
Poweshiek237243
Madison234525
Harrison234379
Cass233466
Butler232744
Iowa229634
Jefferson223043
Mills220930
Winnebago215938
Hancock214639
Cherokee211347
Lyon206142
Appanoose205357
Allamakee203955
Calhoun196919
Shelby196442
Union191141
Humboldt185130
Grundy183637
Franklin183029
Mitchell182043
Chickasaw178922
Emmet178246
Louisa176953
Sac171026
Guthrie168137
Montgomery161745
Clarke160829
Keokuk150839
Palo Alto150532
Howard146824
Monroe142739
Ida130141
Greene127517
Davis124625
Lucas124426
Monona122939
Worth12139
Pocahontas120724
Adair114337
Osceola104818
Decatur101913
Taylor98514
Fremont95913
Van Buren93222
Wayne84525
Ringgold76729
Audubon74917
Adams5748
Rochester
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Mason City
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 30°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 31°
Austin
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 31°
Charles City
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 29°
Rain chances midweek
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events