Although the drug overdose crisis has affected all demographic groups and places in the United States, overdose rates are much higher in some sub-populations and places than others. This brief describes demographic and geographic differences in fatal drug overdose rates from 1999-2020. Throughout most of this period, fatal drug overdose rates were highest among young and middle-aged adult White and Native American males and middle-aged and older Black males. Rates have been consistently highest in Appalachia, but in recent years have spread throughout several regions in urban and rural areas alike. Although opioids have been the main contributor, cocaine- and methamphetamine-involved overdoses have increased dramatically in recent years, demonstrating that our problem is bigger than opioids.
Demography, Opioid Crisis, Population Health
Demography, Population, and Ecology | Race and Ethnicity | Substance Abuse and Addiction
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Monnat acknowledges funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (U01 DA055972) and the NIA-funded Center for Aging and Policy Studies at Syracuse
University (P30 AG066583) and support from two research networks funded by the National Institute on Aging (R24 AG065159 and 2R24 AG045061) and the USDA-supported Rural Population Research Network. She also thanks Emily Minnoe for editing a previous version of this brief. This brief is part of a series of briefs summarizing findings from a special issue of the ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science on the social and community consequences of the U.S. opioid crisis.
National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIA-funded Center for Aging and Policy Studies at Syracuse University, and support from two research networks funded by the National Institute on Aging and the USDA-supported Rural Population Research Network.
U01 DA055972, P30 AG066583, R24 AG065159, 2R24 AG045061
Monnat, Shannon. (2023). Which Demographic Groups and Which Places Have the Highest Drug Overdose Rates in the U.S.? Lerner Center Population Health Research Brief Series. 213 https://surface.syr.edu/lerner/213
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