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  • Opportunities to Prevent Overdose Deaths Involving Prescription and Illicit Opioids, 11 States, July 2016-June 2017



    What is already known about this topic?

    In 2016, opioids were involved in 42,249 U.S. overdose deaths.

    What is added by this report?

    Among 11 reporting states, most (58.7%) opioid overdose deaths involved illicit opioids only, followed by those where both illicit and prescription opioids were detected (18.5%); 17.4% of deaths involved prescription opioids only. Bystanders to the overdose, who could potentially intervene, were documented in 44% of deaths; however, laypersons rarely administered naloxone.

    What are the implications for public health practice?

    Development of overdose prevention programs should consider the types of opioids contributing to deaths, link persons to treatment during and upon release from an institution or after a nonfatal overdose, and expand naloxone distribution to laypersons.

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