America is being hit by a wave of drug deaths like never before. From Heroin to pain meds, overdoses are taking a tremendous toll on communities across the country. Using public data, we’ve mapped drug overdoses and the cities they’re destroying:
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61% Of all Overdoses Were Opioid Related
In 2014, the latest year for data, 61% of drug overdoses were caused by opioids (Heroin and pain killers). 2014 is the worst year on record for drug overdoses: more people have died from drug overdoses then any previous year.
- Heroin Overdose increased by 26% from 2013.
- Overdose caused by pain relievers (morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone) increased 9%.
- Death caused by synthetic prescription pain medicine such as Fentanyl and Tramadol doubled.
14 States See Record Rise in Drug Overdose Death
Between 2013 and 2014, drug overdoses increased dramatically in 14 states. North Dakota had a 125% increase in deaths from drug overdose. New Hampshire, which has been hit particularly hard by the opioid and heroin epidemic, experienced a 73.5% increase in deaths. While there were many changes in drug overdoses, only these 14 states had statistically significant data. The five states with the highest rates of death due to drug overdose were West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio.
Worst Cities For Drug Overdose
These rankings are based on cities with over 400,000 people. Because of the way the Heroin outbreak is affecting America, many small and rural areas are effected as badly as the big cities. While our map contains statistics for all drug overdoses, the primary focus of drug overdose is on opiates:
|Salt Lake City||UT||268||24.5|
|New Port Richey||FL||112||23.1|
The Costs Of The Opioid Epidemic:
According to a paper in the Journal of Pain Medicine , the yearly cost of the epidemic in the United States is
$20.4 Billion Dollars:
- Emergency Department Costs: $800 Million
- Inpatient Costs: $1.3 Billion
- Absenteeism Costs: $335 Million
- Lost Future Earnings: $18.2 Billion
Heroin Use Continues to Rise for Rich AND Poor
Heroin is an equal opportunity drug, and its use has increased among many demographics. The effects are devastating:
- Heroin Deaths rose 286% from 2002 to 2013.
- Male Usage of Heroin rose 50%.
- Female Usage rose 100%.
- Usage by users between the ages of 18-25 rose 109%.
- Usage by those aged 26 or older rose 58%.
- White people using heroin increased by 114%
Heroin users, both rich and poor, drastically increased their usage of Heroin:
- Those making below $20,000 saw heroin usage rise by 62%.
- Between $20,000 – $49,999, heroin usage rose 77%
- Above $50,000, usage increased by 60%.
- Between 2002 and 2013, Overdose deaths have quadrupled.
- Drug Overdose Rates are now nearing or at the rates seen at the height of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s.
- The epidemic seems to affect more white, working class individuals.
- In many areas, the lead drug is not Heroin, but legal, opiate derived pain medications, such as fentanyl.
- Wait lines for rehab centers across the country are incredibly long. Anecdotally, one person reported waiting up to 18 months in Maine. By that time, many addicts are dead.
How We Created This Map
The CDC makes available cause of death data on their CDC WONDER system. We have removed remote areas of the country and focused primarily on cities and counties where most of the population lies. This also gives us better statistical data.
The death rate was calculated using methodologies described here.
We used the following ICD 10 Codes. ICD 10 codes are used throughout the medical profession to provide incredibly detailed causes of death. Specifically we used the ICD codes related to drug poisoning, which are coded as follows:
- X40-44 (unintentional overdose).
- X60-64 (suicide)
- X85 (homicide)
- Y10-Y14 (unknown intent)