“Official drug death stats are off by half” Futurity.org

“Deaths classified as drug-related for 15- to 64-year-olds hit 9% in 2016, up from about 4% about two decades prior, but new research suggests the true number is actually more than double that.”

drug deaths“Activists and family members of loved ones who died in the opioid/heroin epidemic take part in a ‘Fed Up!’ rally at Capitol Hill on September 18, 2016 in Washington, DC.”(Credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

posted by Michele Berger-Penn

“‘It’s obvious that the drug epidemic is a major American disaster,’ says Samuel Preston, a professor of sociology and member of the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania. ‘The basic records being kept are annual reports on the number of deaths from drug overdose. But that’s only part of the picture.’

“Among this group of Americans in 2016, 63,000 deaths attributed to drug-related causes—mostly poisonings—but Preston and coauthor Dana Glei from Georgetown University estimate that the overall number of drug-associated deaths is far higher: around 142,000.

Read more at this Futurity article.


In 2017, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that the state with the third highest overdose rate was Pennsylvania (44.3 per 100,000).


“The opioid overdose epidemic is the worst public health crisis in Pennsylvania, and the nation, in almost a generation. The Wolf Administration takes an all-hands-on deck approach to preventing addiction, saving lives and getting Pennsylvanians into treatment. This dashboard provides data behind Pennsylvania’s response to the crisis collected through the Governor’s Opioid Disaster Declaration.”


Estimated Number of Drug Overdose Deaths in Pennsylvania in 2017 | Preliminary data is showing a decline in drug overdose deaths, but there is more work to do. Pennsylvania continues to focus on saving lives, expanding treatment access and getting patients into treatment.”

In 2017, the drug overdose deaths (by county) are:

Estimated Accidental and Undetermined Drug Overdose Deaths 2017-2018: 2017 accidental and undetermined drug overdose deaths and provisional estimates of annual counts of deaths for 2018 generated from preliminary 2018 mortality data as of July 2019.
  • Berks – 85
  • Lancaster – 108
  • Lebanon – 25

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