The United States has more than two dozen regional points for opioid overdose death, according to researchers who also found a link between lethal overdose and mental distress.
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana and Tennessee have the highest percentage of deaths from opioid overdose, but researchers identified 25 regionals overdose clusters across the country.
According to co-author of the study, Diego Cuadros, director of the Laboratory of Geography and Health Diseases at the University of Cincinnati, the findings highlight how the risk of overdose is widespread and localized.
“Not everyone takes a similar risk,” Cuadros said in a university press release. “We wanted to identify traits that put people at higher risk for fatal overdose.”
White men between the ages of 25 and 34 had the highest risk of fatal overdose and there is an increasing risk among black men between the ages of 30 and 34, according to the study.
Researchers also found a link between overdose deaths and mental anguish, which increases the relative risk of fatal overdose by up to 39%.
“We saw a strong partnership with mental health and substance abuse disorders, especially opiates, “Cuadros said.” What is happening now is that we are more than a year in a pandemic. Mental health has deteriorated for the entire population, which means we will see an increase in opiate overdoses. “
Researchers are trying to determine why fatal overdoses are more common in men than women and why the risk is higher in certain age groups.
“Maybe you have more responsibilities, financial responsibilities or stress at the time,” Cuadros said. “Maybe there are physiological changes or changes in our brain that we don’t know about yet.”
One of the main focuses of health interventions for opioids Addiction has been the distribution of naloxone and other life-saving drugs. But Cuadros said identifying vulnerable populations can be an effective prevention method.
In 2010, prescription opiates were often the culprits. At the start of the epidemic, most overdoses were heroin. Now, more overdoses involve synthetic opioids like fentanyl, Cuadros said.
“It’s a complex epidemic. For HIV we have a virus or agent. The same with malaria. The same with COVID-19. It’s a virus,” he said. “But with opioids we have several agents.”
The study was published May 26 in the journal PLOS ONE.
The new findings could help policymakers and health care providers identifying individual and community factors associated with increased risk, according to co-author Neil MacKinnon. He was dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Cincinnati, and is now provost at Augusta University in Georgia.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more advantages opioid addiction.
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Citation: Do you live to the point of an overdose of opioids in the US? (2021, June 1), retrieved June 1, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-opioid-overdose-hotspot.html
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