Increasing Overdose Rates in PA

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Increasing Overdose Rates in PA

A study published in PLOS ONE finds that drug overdoses in Pennsylvania have increased drastically over the last 40 years. The study, which was led by the University Of Pittsburgh Graduate School Of Public Health, breaks down different aspects of the overdoses and deaths in relation to age, gender and race.

The researchers analyzed data between the years of 1979 and 2014 from the Mortality and Population Data System, which is a system for detailed death data from the National Center for Health Statistics. From this data, they pulled information on accidental overdose deaths over the 40-year time span in Pennsylvania.

They found that the overdose deaths were highest in Southwestern Pennsylvania, specifically around Philadelphia and Scranton. The age group with the greatest increase in overdose deaths is the 35- to 44-year-olds. However, in recent years that is leaning more towards the 25- and 34-year-olds.

In regards to race and age, the overdose deaths were the highest in white men ages 25- to 44-year-olds and for black men 45- to 65-year-olds. For white women, overdoses were highest in those 25- to 54-year-olds and for black women 35- to 64-year-olds. There was a much larger age range among the women. The women also saw a large increase in accidental overdoses between 2010 and 2014.

The study showed that Pennsylvania is in the top 20 states for overdoses.