U.S. Death Rate From Drug Poisoning Up for Teens, Young Adults

Significant increases seen in rates for whites, Asian/Pacific Islanders, blacks; in Midwest and Northeast

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THURSDAY, April 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For adolescents and young adults, the death rate from drug poisoning increased from 2006 to 2015, according to a study published online April 24 in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Bina Ali, Ph.D., from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Calverton, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the National Vital Statistics System's Multiple Cause of Death files to examine trends in drug poisoning deaths among adolescents and young adults from 2006 to 2015. The total costs of drug poisoning deaths were also calculated.

The researchers found that from 2006 to 2015, there was an increase in drug poisoning death rates from 8.1 to 9.7 per 100,000 population in adolescents and young adults. The rates for whites and Asian/Pacific Islanders significantly increased from 2006 to 2015 (1.7 and 4.3 percent per year, respectively); for blacks, a significant increase was seen from 2009 to 2015 (11.8 percent per year). Rates increased significantly in the Midwest (4.4 percent per year from 2006 to 2015) and in the Northeast (11.0 percent per year from 2009 to 2015). A variation in trends was seen by age group, intent for drug poisoning, drug category, urbanization level, and state. In 2015, the estimated cost of drug poisoning deaths among adolescents and young adults was $35 billion.

"Deaths among adolescents and young adults because of drug poisoning is a serious public health issue," the authors write.

One author was employed by Impact Research LLC.

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