Report: Overdose Deaths Among Youth Up in Calif., 34 Other States
Overdose deaths resulting from drug use increased significantly among youths in California and other states over the past decade, according to a report released on Thursday by Trust for America's Health, HealthDay/U.S. News & World Report reports.
For the report, researchers compared data on drug overdose death rates among 12- to 25-years olds from 1999 to 2001 with data from 2011 to 2013.
According to the report, the drug overdose rate among 12- to 25-year-olds throughout the country increased more than twofold, from 3.1 deaths per 100,000 individuals in 1999 to 2001 to 7.3 deaths per 100,000 in 2011 to 2013 (Thompson, HealthDay/U.S. News & World Report, 11/19).
The report noted that the rate of youth drug-related overdose deaths increased considerably in 35 states. According to the report, such death rates more than quadrupled in five states and more than tripled in 12 states.
According to the report, West Virginia had the highest youth overdose death rate at 12.6 deaths per 100,000 individuals, while North Dakota had the lowest rate, at 2.2 deaths per 100,000 people.
The report said the trend "is largely tied to increases in prescription drug misuse and the related doubling in heroin use by 18- to 25-year-olds in the past 10 years" (Thadani, USA Today, 11/20).
In California, the rate of youth drug-related overdose deaths more than doubled between the two time periods.
The state's youth overdose death rate was:
- 1.7 deaths per 100,000 individuals between 1999 and 2001; and
- 4.9 deaths per 100,000 individuals between 2011 and 2013.
Meanwhile, the report -- which also scored states based on whether they had implemented programs meant to address substance use disorders among children and youth -- found that California had implemented programs for nine out of 10 indicators, such as smoking prevention and drug treatment efforts (Trust for America's Health report, November 2015).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.