(NPN) — South Dakota has the second lowest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States, with 6.3 per 100,000 people suffering drug overdose fatalities, according to a new report, Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic.
The number of drug overdose deaths – a majority of which are from prescription drugs – have doubled in 29 states since 1999, quadrupled in four of these states and tripled in 10 more.
The report also finds that South Dakota received two out of 10 possible indicators of promising strategies to help curb prescription drug abuse. Nationally, 28 states and Washington, D.C. scored six or less, with New Mexico and Vermont scoring the highest, with a 10, and South Dakota scoring the lowest with two out of 10.
As there were no statistics for 1999 for South Dakota, the study could not draw a conclusion if the overdose mortality rate in South Dakota has increased or decreased.
According to the report by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), prescription drug abuse has quickly become a top public health concern, as prescription drug related deaths now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined, and drug overdose deaths exceed motor vehicle-related deaths in 29 states and Washington, D.C.
Misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers alone costs the country an estimated $53.4 billion a year in lost productivity, medical costs and criminal justice costs, according to the report. The report also notes only one in 10 Americans with a substance abuse disorder receives treatment.
“Prescription drugs can be a miracle for many, but misuse can have dire consequences. The rapid rise of abuse requires nothing short of a full-scale response – starting with prevention and education all the way through to expanding and modernizing treatment,” said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH. “There are many promising signs that we can turn this around – but it requires urgent action.”
In the Prescription Drug Abuse report, TFAH – in consultation with a number of public health, clinical, injury prevention, law enforcement and community organization experts – reviewed a range of national recommendations and examined a set of 10 indicators of strategies being used in states to help curb the epidemic. There are indications that some of these efforts and strategies may be having a positive impact – the number of Americans abusing prescription drugs decreased from 7 million in 2010 to 6.1 in 2011, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
STATE-BY-STATE DRUG OVERDOSE MORTALITY RANKINGS
Note: Rates include total drug overdose mortality rates, the majority of which are from prescription drugs. 1 = Highest rate of drug overdose fatalities, 51 = lowest rate of drug overdose fatalities. Rankings are based on data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, WONDER Online Database, 2010.The numbers are based on the number of people per 100,000. Regional states are in boldface.
1. West Virginia**** (28.9); 2. New Mexico (23.8); 3. Kentucky**** (23.6); 4. Nevada (20.7); 5. Oklahoma*** (19.4); 6. Arizona (17.5); 7. Missouri*** (17); 8. (tie) Tennessee** and Utah (16.9); 10. Delaware** (16.6); 11. Florida** (16.4); 12. Ohio*** (16.1); 13. Rhode Island** (15.5); 14. Pennsylvania (15.3); 15. Wyoming*** (15); 16. South Carolina*** (14.6); 17. Indiana**** (14.4); 18. Michigan*** (13.9); 19. Louisiana*** (13.2); 20. Washington (13.1); 21. (tie) District of Columbia and Montana** and Oregon** (12.9); 24. Colorado (12.7); 25. Arkansas** (12.5); 26. (tie) Alabama*** and Idaho** and New Hampshire** (11.8); 29. Alaska (11.6); 30. (tie) Mississippi***and North Carolina** (11.4); 32. (tie) Maryland and Massachusetts (11); 34. (tie) Hawaii and Wisconsin** (10.9); 36. Georgia*** (10.7); 37. California (10.6); 38. Maine (10.4); 39. Connecticut (10.1); 40. Illinois (10); 41. New Jersey (9.8); 42. Vermont** (9.7); 43. (tie) Kansas** and Texas (9.6); 45. Iowa**** (8.6); 46. New York (7.8); 47. Minnesota** (7.3); 48. Virginia (6.8); 49. Nebraska** (6.7); 50. South Dakota (6.3); 51. North Dakota (3.4).
** Drug Overdose Mortality Rates doubled from 1999 to 2010
*** Drug Overdose Mortality Rates tripled from 1999 to 2010
**** Drug Overdose Mortality Rates quadrupled from 1999 to 2010
SOURCE: Trust for America’s Health
Copyright 2013 Todd D. Epp and Northern Plains News. All Rights Reserved. Columnists syndicated on NPN retain all rights to their works. Todd D. Epp, Northern Plains News and columnists syndicated on NPN grant users a free, non-exclusive license for the use of materials on this site in exchange for attribution (i.e, “By Northern Plains News”). This license may be revoked at any time in the future without notice. Views expressed in opinion pieces and columns are those of their authors and may not represent the views of Todd Epp or Northern Plains News or its subscribers.