Opioids linked to 1 in 5 deaths among young adults

A study published in <i>JAMA Network Open</i> reveals that opioids were involved in one out of every 65 deaths nationwide in 2016. Researchers used data from CDC's Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research database, which tracks U.S. mortality data and causes of death.

A study published in <i>JAMA Network Open</i> reveals that opioids were involved in one out of every 65 deaths nationwide in 2016. Researchers used data from CDC's Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research database, which tracks U.S. mortality data and causes of death. Researchers isolated the 335,123 opioid-related deaths recorded between 2001 and 2016 and categorized the deaths according to age groups and years. Opioids were involved in 28,496 deaths in 2016, of which more than 8,400 were among adults between the ages of 25 and 34 years. This means that about 20% of all deaths in this age group in 2016 involved opioids. Among individuals aged 15&#8211;24 years, the report found the nearly 3,000 opioid-related deaths recorded in 2016 accounted for 12.4% of deaths in the group. Among adults aged 35&#8211;44 years, the report identified about 6,700 opioid-related deaths, compared with more than 5,600 among adults aged 45&#8211;54 years; more than 3,800 among adults aged 55&#8211;64 years; and roughly 800 among adults aged 65 years and older. The study said opioids were involved in 1.5% of all deaths in 2016, and the authors concluded that "tailored programs and policies" are needed.