Medical Health Cluster

19 julio, 2022

Drug Overdose Deaths Rise, Disparities Widen


Drug overdose data show troubling trends and widening disparities between different population groups. In just one year, overdose death rates (number of drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people) increased 44% for Black people and 39% for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people. Most people who died by overdose had no evidence of substance use treatment before their deaths. In fact, a lower proportion of people from racial and ethnic minority groups received treatment, compared with White people. Some conditions in the places where people live, work, and play can widen these disparities. For instance, areas with greater income inequality—a larger income gap between the rich and the poor—have higher rates of overdose deaths. Comprehensive, community-based prevention and response efforts should incorporate proven, culturally responsive actions that address disparities in drug overdose deaths and the inequities that contribute to them.

  • Increasing access to proven treatment for all people who have substance use disorder(s) is a critical part of their care and recovery.
  • Harm reduction services can further reduce overdoses and save lives. Harm reduction services can include naloxone, fentanyl test strips, and referral to substance use disorder treatment. Syringe services programs can serve as a valuable way to reach people who inject drugs and provide them with overdose prevention education and opportunities to link to substance use disorder treatment.

Drug overdose death disparities are widening at the same time as a record-breaking 92,000 lives were lost to drug overdoses during 2020. More must be done to prevent overdoses and deaths.

Créditos: Comité científico Covid

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