Demographic reports have shown mostly white Americans living in rural areas to be the highest populations for death due to opioid overdose. Recent studies, as reported by the New York Times, have indicated an upswing in overdose deaths for black Americans living in urban counties across the country. In particular, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) brokedown mortality rates along geographic and racial lines. Their study showed the steepest rise in drug death rates among blacks between the ages of 45 and 64.
The rise in overdose deaths for black Americans rose by 41 percent in 2016 alone, and these deaths are moving faster than any other ethnic groups studied. A chart for overdose death rates by race, produced by the National Center for Health Statistics, shows whites having the highest rates, followed by Native Americans, blacks, hispanics, and Asians with the lowest deaths. When broken down by urban death rates versus rural, whites top the chart for rural, followed closely by black Americans, and then hispanics. (Native Americans were not shown on this chart.) Overdose deaths in rural areas are way higher for whites than other ethnic groups.
The use of uncontrolled and unknown amounts of fentanyl in the heroin supply line has caused death rates to skyrocket not just for white Americans. But black Americans as well. A December 2017 study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found the largest recent increases in overdose deaths among blacks were attributed to heroin.
Cuyahoga County in Ohio, for example, had the nation’s second-highest overdose rate last year, according to what their medical examiner told a United States Senate subcommittee. In may 2017, the fast-rising rate of fentanyl-related deaths among blacks, he said, was probably a result of drug dealers mixing fentanyl with cocaine.
Another perspective was offered by Brandon Marshall, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Brown University School of Public Health. He said sorting out how many deaths involved people taking cocaine cut with fentanyl versus people who died of an opioid overdose but also happened to have cocaine in their blood at the time was difficult to determine. Still, it is widely known that dealers are reckless when it comes to adding fentanyl to heroin.
“The way you tell your story to yourself matters.”—Amy Cuddy
You live in a unpredictable world and may be caught in the grip of substance abuse. You have the option to get help for an addiction, and we at Infinity Malibu encourage you to do so. We offer proven treatment programs and a highly trained staff. Our facility is gorgeous, and your privacy protected. Our ocean views will help soothe your as you begin your healing with us. Don’t wait any longer! 888-266-9048