Author(s): Sharp MJ, Melnik TA Centers for
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Abstract Deaths involving opioid analgesics have increased dramatically in the United States. Approximately 4,000 such deaths were documented in 1999, increasing to 16,235 in 2013, reflecting a nearly quadrupled death rate from 1.4 to 5.1 deaths per 100,000. To investigate this increase in New York state, trends in poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics from 2003 to 2012 were examined. Data sources used were New York state vital statistics multiple-cause-of-death data, consisting of data from both the New York City (NYC)* and non-NYC reporting jurisdictions, as well as statewide Medicaid enrollment data. Deaths involving opioid analgesics increased both in number and as a percentage of all drug poisoning deaths, and rates were highest among men, whites, persons aged 45-64 years, persons residing outside of NYC, and Medicaid enrollees. The analysis found that, in 2012, 70.7\% of deaths involving opioid analgesics also involved at least one other drug, most frequently a benzodiazepine. These results underscore the potential to mitigate the trend of increasing opioid analgesic-related mortality through initiatives such as New York state's Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) law,† which took effect on August 27, 2013. Provisions under I-STOP include the requirements that providers consult the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Registry when writing prescriptions for controlled substances, and that they use electronic prescribing.
This article was published in MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Toxicology