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Racial/Ethnic Opioid Drug Deaths Jump, 2013-2017

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Magnitude of increase in drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone per 100,000 population, by ethnicity, 2013-2017

Synthetic opioids (e.g., fentanyl) have driven the increase in drug overdose death rates in recent years, with the fastest rate increases being among non-Hispanic blacks. These findings are summarized in Blacks Experiencing Fast-Rising Rates of Overdose Deaths Involving Synthetic Opioids Other Than Methadone, an AHRQ Data Spotlight. 

From 2013 to 2017, overdose deaths from synthetic opioids other than methadone increased:

  • 18-fold for non-Hispanic blacks
  • 12-fold for Hispanics
  • 9-fold for non-Hispanic whites

Death rates, however, remain highest among non-Hispanic whites.

See tools in our Substance Use & Addiction topic page

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