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Summary

What is already known about this topic?

Provisional opioid-involved overdose deaths suggest slight declines from 2017 to 2018, contrasting with sharp increases during 2014–2017 driven by fentanyl overdose deaths.

What is added by this report?

From July–December 2017 to January–June 2018 in 25 states, opioid deaths decreased 5% overall and decreased for prescription opioids and illicit synthetic opioids excluding illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF). However, IMF deaths increased 11%. Benzodiazepines, cocaine, or methamphetamine were present in 63% of opioid deaths.

CDC-opioids_480x360

Summary

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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