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Date:

June 7, 2005

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Phone:

240-276-2130


 

Data on Drug Deaths in 32 Cities and Six States Released by SAMHSA

 
 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration today unveiled findings on drug-related mortality from the 2003 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) that provide a picture of deaths involving recent drug use in six states and 32 metropolitan areas. Among the metropolitan areas, Baltimore and Albuquerque had the highest rates of drug misuse deaths, exceeding 200 deaths per one million population. Another 14 areas had drug misuse death rates that exceeded 100 deaths per one million population.

Six states provided mortality data to DAWN - Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah and Vermont. Fatality rates for drug misuse in these states ranged from 88 to 162 deaths per one million population. This is the first time there has been any state information from DAWN. These data show substantial variations in drug-related deaths across jurisdictions within the states, with the highest rates not always found in urban centers.

Participation in DAWN is voluntary so not all jurisdictions provide data. DAWN counts of drug-related deaths cannot be projected to the nation as a whole.

The study, "Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2003: Area Profiles of Drug-Related Mortality" is a new version of DAWN that is the result of a major redesign, so these data cannot be compared with data from prior years. In one key change, DAWN now captures any death related to recent drug use. Findings are presented for deaths involving drug misuse and abuse, as well as drug-related suicides.

"Amazingly, the vast majority of people who need but do not receive treatment for a serious drug or alcohol problem don’t even recognize they have a problem,” SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie said. "Americans must begin to confront drug use - and drug users - honestly and directly. We must encourage those in need to enter and remain in treatment before it’s too late, before they become a mortality statistic."

The DAWN mortality data indicate that the typical drug misuse death involves multiple drugs, an average of 2.7 drugs per case. Opiates, which include prescription pain relievers and heroin, were found more often than any other type of drug in 29 of the 32 metropolitan areas and all of the six states. Cocaine was the most frequently reported drug in three metropolitan areas and was in the top five drugs in 28 metropolitan areas and all six states. Alcohol was one of the five most common drugs in 30 of the 32 metropolitan areas and five of six states.

The report indicates that stimulants--reported as either methamphetamine or amphetamines--appeared in the top five drugs in five metropolitan areas: Minneapolis-St. Paul; Ogden-Clearfield, Utah; Phoenix; San Diego and San Francisco.

Other common drugs in drug misuse deaths were prescription antidepressants and benzodiazepines, which are anti-anxiety medications.

Drug-related suicide deaths were much less frequent than deaths involving drug misuse. On average, less than 20 percent of drug-related suicides involved an illicit drug. Alcohol was among the five most common drugs in drug-related suicides in all but one of the 32 metropolitan areas and five of the six states.

The following table summarizes the areas reporting to DAWN, with their rates of drug misuse deaths, rates of drug related suicides, and population covered by reports to DAWN:


Table 2
Drug-related deaths per 1,000,000 population, 2003

Area

Drug misuse deaths per 1,000,000 population

Drug-related suicide deaths per 1,000,000 population

Population covered by DAWN

Percent of population covered by DAWN

Total area population, 2003


Metropolitan areas

Albuquerque , NM

204.0

23.5

764,869

100%

764,869

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA

65.7

6.4

2,817,028

61%

4,610,032

Baltimore-Towson , MD

205.6

4.6

2,616,229

100%

2,616,229

Birmingham-Hoover , AL

135.2

10.6

658,141

61%

1,072,646

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy , MA -NH

109.5

14.2

4,439,971

100%

4,439,971

Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Tonawanda , NY

56.1

15.5

1,159,443

100%

1,159,443

Chicago-Naperville-Joliet , IL-IN-WI

57.0

14.0

2,419,985

26%

9,333,511

Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor , OH

130.5

15.4

1,363,888

64%

2,139,512

Denver-Aurora , CO

102.0

24.9

2,205,845

96%

2,301,116

Detroit-Warren-Livonia , MI

129.4

12.6

4,219,658

94%

4,483,853

Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land , TX

65.3

20.2

4,395,137

87%

5,075,733

Indianapolis , IN

73.0

8.1

986,507

62%

1,595,377

Kansas City , MO-KS

113.6

16.1

933,360

49%

1,904,908

Louisville , KY-IN

101.6

25.8

699,017

59%

1,190,154

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach , FL

67.9

8.1

2,341,167

44%

5,288,796

Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

143.6

20.4

933,221

62%

1,514,313

Minneapolis-St. Paul- Bloomington, MN-WI

53.3

15.9

1,763,421

57%

3,083,637

New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA

188.3

18.6

966,307

73%

1,317,541

New York-Newark-Edison, NY-NJ-PA

93.4

5.5

10,665,839

57%

18,640,775

Ogden-Clearfield , UT

91.7

6.4

468,942

100%

468,942

Oklahoma City , OK

91.7

22.2

676,066

60%

1,132,652

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

103.8

28.1

2,811,906

49%

5,772,947

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale , AZ

114.8

30.1

3,389,260

94%

3,593,408

Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton , OR -WA

96.4

17.8

1,514,744

74%

2,040,258

Portland-South Portland, ME

97.0

17.8

505,404

100%

505,404

Provo-Orem , UT

127.8

4.9

406,851

100%

406,851

Salt=" " Lake City , UT

183.0

32.8

1,005,232

100%

1,005,232

San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA

120.1

29.3

2,930,886

100%

2,930,886

San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont , CA

96.4

18.0

943,529

23%

4,157,377

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue , WA

91.2

17.9

2,400,820

76%

3,141,777

St. Louis , MO-IL

84.8

25.7

2,299,516

84%

2,735,927

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

63.5

7.5

4,774,745

94%

5,057,414


States

Maine

88.1

17.6

1,305,728

100%

1,305,728

Maryland

126.5

3.8

5,508,909

100%

5,508,909

New Hampshire

87.8

20.2

1,287,687

100%

1,287,687

New Mexico

161.6

19.2

1,874,614

100%

1,874,614

Utah

138.6

19.1

2,351,467

100%

2,351,467

Vermont

119.5

22.6

619,107

100%

619,107


SOURCE: Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2003 (11/2004 update).



The full report is available online at http://dawninfo.samhsa.gov.


SAMHSA, a public health agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the lead federal agency for improving the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, addiction treatment and mental health services in the United States.


This page was last updated on  07 June, 2005
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