Mortality Rate Associated with Heroin Soars

January 15, 2015|5:15 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

CDC's 2013 drug overdose mortality data show that drug deaths related to prescription opioids have remained stable since 2012, but that the mortality rate associated with heroin has increased. The 2013 figures, released on Jan. 12 by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, show a six percent increase in all drug poisoning deaths from 2012, and a one percent increase in deaths involving opioid analgesics during 2012. By contrast, deaths involving heroin are up 39 percent since 2012. This is the third year in a row that the mortality rate associated with heroin has increased as individuals with opioid addiction disease transition to heroin as a cheaper opioid source.

These results demonstrate that while the Administration's efforts to curb the epidemic of the nonmedical use of prescription drugs is working, much more effort is needed to improve the way substance use disorders are prevented and treated.

"The data announced today underscore that the nation's drug problem is evolving, and requires a comprehensive solution-including preventing drug use before it ever begins, reducing the supply coming from foreign nations, educating our nation's youth on the risks of substance use, and the work of our nation's federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement to continue reducing the amount of trafficking within the United States," says Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. 

CDC provides states with resources and scientific expertise to address the key drivers of prescription drug overdose. With $20 million in new funding in 2015, CDC will dramatically expand this work and provide more resources to states on the front lines of the epidemic.

Read more in these news stories from CNN and The Hill.