Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Drug Poisoning Deaths in the U.S,, 1980–2008

Key findings of a new report issued by the CDC on drug poisoning deaths include:

  • In 2008, poisoning became the leading cause of injury death in the U.S. and nearly 9 out of 10 poisoning deaths are caused by drugs.
  • During the past three decades, the number of drug poisoning deaths increased sixfold from about 6,100 in 1980 to 36,500 in 2008.
  • During the most recent decade, the number of drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics more than tripled from about 4,000 in 1999 to 14,800 in 2008.
  • Opioid analgesics were involved in more than 40% of all drug poisoning deaths in 2008, up from about 25% in 1999.

The 8-page report can be accessed at:

Source: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Data Brief Number 81 – December 2011

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