There is little doubt that this country is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, but getting accurate figures from state to state can be a challenge. There is a discrepancy in some of the numbers of opioid and heroin poisonings because some states fail to note a specific drug that was responsible for an overdose death. A new study addresses this issue and presents a correction procedure so that more accurate figures can be obtained.

New Study Reveals Need for Correct State-by-State Opioid Statistics

When one state reports opioid and heroin overdose deaths accurately while another does not, this complicates the efforts to target federal and state funds for enforcement and drug rehab. A new study reported in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine suggests a way to refine this data, which gives a more accurate picture of state-by-state opioid mortality rates.

The study’s analysis took place during 2016-2017. Where death certificates were not specific about the drug involved, information from more detailed death certificate reports was reviewed to make corrections in the data.

What the New Statistics Reveal About the Extent of U.S. Opioid Crisis

Once the corrections were made during the course of the study, the national opioid overdose death statistics changed dramatically. For example, the national mortality rates were 24 percent higher for opioids and 22 percent higher for heroin.

The rates were adjusted significantly in certain states. The opioid mortality growth rates were understated in Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  Increases in heroin death rates were underreported in most states but by a significant margin in Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Interestingly, opioid mortality growth rates were overestimated in Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, Ohio, and South Carolina.

These corrections have given researchers, regulators, and the public a clearer picture of the extent of the U.S. opioid crisis. For example, prior to the study, Pennsylvania ranked 32 in the nation for opioid-related fatalities and 20th for heroin-related deaths. After the corrections, the state ranked seventh and fourth. Likewise, Indiana’s rankings changed from 36th and 29th to an adjusted 15th and 19th. This is important information because federal programs often target the states that are believed to have the most severe heroin or opioid addiction issues.

Where Can Opioid Addicts Get Help?

Opiates remain some of the most abused drugs in America. Prescription opioids alone account for more than 5.1 million cases of addiction, and many people who become addicted to prescription painkillers turn to heroin as a cheaper alternative. If you or a loved one are addicted to opioids of any kind, you can get help with specialized substance abuse treatment.

Opiate addiction treatment is available as a personalized drug rehab program that will vary depending on your addiction history and your overall health. Most people require medically assisted detox, which will help with the physical and psychological withdrawal from opioids. Detox alone is rarely sufficient to prevent relapse. The most successful treatment involves a comprehensive drug rehab program that incorporates therapy, education, and long-term recovery strategies to build a strong drug-free foundation. Contact The Recovery Village now to learn about admissions and begin a life free from the chains of addiction.

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