According to the authority report on Friday, the number of drug overdose deaths in the United States, which has been mostly distributed in rural regions for the last decade, is now higher in large cities again.
Issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the report showed that the rate of overdose death in urban areas exceeded that of rural areas in both 2016 and 2017. The figures for the last two years are still unavailable. But based on available data, many experts believe that the urban rate might keep remaining higher in the coming years.
However, the difference was insignificant. In 2017, there were 20 overdose deaths out of 100,000 people in rural areas, compared with 22 deaths per 100,000 people in urban areas.
The US is dealing with the most serious drug overdose period in history. Last year, it was estimated that nearly 70,000 people died of this cause.
Experts think that the outbreak has been occurring distinctively in different regions of the nation. The best way to understand the pattern is to compare geographic areas.
The latest report by the CDC examined the rates of overdose death in the whole country’s rural and urban areas. It suggests that both rates are increasing, but the figures for cities are rising much more quickly.
Baltimore, Chicago, and New York are all reported with considerable surges in overdose deaths over the past few years. Indeed, most hot spots are located in urban areas. The majority of deaths is caused by cocaine, fentanyl, and heroin.
Initially, the outbreak began with opioid pills, which were used widely in both urban and rural areas. However, many drug users gradually turned to other illegal drugs, which are more common in large cities. Another possible explanation for this difference is the increase in overdose deaths among Hispanics and blacks.
Most of the deaths occur to men. However, women still die of this cause with higher rates in many rural regions. And the rates related to opioid pills and methamphetamine are also high in these areas.
In the CDC report, urban areas are defined as counties with small and large cities and their suburbs, while rural regions are those counties with no more than 50,000 people. In both categories, the outbreak tends to affect young residents. This is quite simple to understand due to the increase in drug consumption among this age group.