For the past two decades, people using opioids is growing by the day. Therefore, opioid overdoses are rising, too. However, overdoses from opioid use are more prevalent in some states than others. Is your state on this list?
Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug known as heroin, and synthetic prescription drugs including fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, or methadone (drugs with common names such as Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin).
Prescription opioids are medications that are chemically similar to endorphins and interact with opioid receptors in the body and brain. Endorphins are opioids our body makes naturally to relieve pain. In nature, opioids are in the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. Opioid medications can be natural or synthetic.
For most people, when taking medically prescribed opioids for a short time, they are relatively safe and can reduce pain effectively. However, dependence and addiction are still potential risks when taking prescription opioids. The longer you use these medications, the higher your chance of developing addiction symptoms.
Overdose death rate: 28.7
Maine is a state built on majestic seaside communities, however, this state has the 10th highest overdose rate in America. According to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (MaineSEOW), the number of overdose deaths from heroin, morphine, and fentanyl nearly doubled between 2014 and 2015. Between 2013 and 2015, the number of overdose deaths from illicit drug use more than quadrupled. The city of Portland is in Cumberland County, the county with the highest number of overdose deaths in the state of Maine.
9. Rhode Island
Overdose death rate: 30.8
Even though Rhode Island is the smallest state in the nation opioid misuse levels continue to rise. Although heroin-related overdose deaths decreased for the state between 2014 and 2016, the overdose deaths caused by synthetic opioids nearly doubled during that same time period. Providence, Kent and Washington counties were the top three in the state with the most overdose deaths.
Overdose death rate: 30.8
Many wouldn’t consider Delaware as a state known for substance misuse. However, more people die from opioid use here than many other states. The top three counties with the most overdose deaths in the state are Kent, Sussex, and New Castle. The city of Wilmington in New Castle County is especially affected by the prescription and synthetic opioid epidemic.
Overdose death rate: 33.0
According to the CDC, Massachusetts has a drug overdose death rate of 33.0, taking the seventh spot on this list. The opioid overdose issue is quite prevalent in this state. Fentanyl and opioids are responsible for 85% of drug overdoses between 2013 and 2014. Cambridge and Andover are cities with the most overdose deaths.
Maryland is just shy of being one of the top five states with the most overdose deaths in the country per 100,000 residents. Opioids are responsible for 89% of overdose deaths. Plus, this is a 70% increase in one year. Between 2007 and 2012, fentanyl was responsible for 29 overdose deaths per year. Since then, that number has increased 38 times. Cities of Germantown and Silver Springs have the most overdoses.
Overdose death rate: 33.5
According to the 2016 Overdose Fatality Report by Kentucky’s justice and public safety cabinet, Jefferson County had the most overdose deaths combined with the largest increase in overdose fatalities. Louisville was among the worst cities in the county for substance misuse and overdose deaths. Fentanyl was also involved in 47% of Kentucky’s overdose deaths. Many used the medication with heroin. Heroin is on the rise there going from 28% in 2015 to 34% in 2016.
Thirteen people a day overdosed in Pennslyvania in 2016. Plus, this state has a 78% higher overdose rate than the national average. Prescription opioids were responsible for 25 percent of overdose deaths in the state.
3. New Hampshire
Overdose death rates: 39.0
New Hampshire’s drug overdose death rate is 39. This is higher than its larger neighbor, Massachusetts. This is where New Hampshire gets its opioid supply from. Many hypothesize the high numbers are due to lack of treatments available. Manchester, a city in Hillsborough County, is among the worst cities in New Hampshire with a death rate of 3.91 (per 10,000 population).
Overdose death rate: 39.1
Prescription opioid misuse is on the rise. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Ohio’s rate of overdose deaths is more than double the national rate and Ohio’s number has tripled since 2010. Dayton, Toledo, and Cincinnati are the wroth cities in Ohio.
1. West Virginia
At 52.0, West Virginia’s drug overdose death rate is significantly higher than Ohio’s 39.1. The overdose death rate has quadrupled in the state since 2010. According to a DEA report, the CDC reported that there was a 25% increase in overdose deaths from opioids between 2015 and 2016. More people die from overdoses than motor vehicle accidents. Researchers hypothesize the high rate of overdoses could be from the high unemployment rate.
Retain a Victorious Team for Your Case
Did you or a loved one become addicted to opioids prescribed by your doctor as painkiller medication? Did you or a loved one overdose and request resuscitation? Has someone you loved passed away due to an opioid overdose? You can and should take legal action right away!
The Michael Brady Lynch Firm can provide legal representation for people who have suffered due to an opioid overdose. With more than 20 years of legal experience, we have the skills and the expertise to construct your case and seek proper compensation for your pain.
In the past, The Michael Brady Law Firm has secured numerous victories for clients hurt by doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and other medical organizations. Let us bring our passion and experience to your case to help you find the compensation you need to recover from your opioid overdose. We can help you recover medical expenses incurred from your overdose.