Study Finds More Drug Overdose Deaths in Cities Than in Rural Areas

Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh
Published Online: Tuesday, August 6th, 2019
The opioid epidemic has become widespread throughout the country and is considered a top public health priority. According to the CDC, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. 

Health care providers can play an important role in educating the community on prescription drug abuse prevention strategies.

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics examined drug overdose death rates in the United States using the most recent data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). The NVSS data included urban and rural differences in drug overdose death rates by sex, age group, and specific drugs involved.

The report revealed that in 2016 and 2017, age-adjusted rates of drug overdose deaths were higher in urban (20 per 100,000 in 2016, and 22 in 2017) than in rural (18.7 in 2016, and 20 in 2017) counties.
 This is a change from previous years where drug overdose deaths occurred more in rural areas. 

The types of drugs involved in the overdoses varied between urban and rural counties in 2017.  

This report provides important information about the growing opioid epidemic and the importance of education and appropriate pain management. 

A version of this article was originally published by Pharmacy Times. Visit to view the full article.

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