“The current drug crisis already kills more people than guns or cars. But a new study suggests it’s even worse than the current numbers say.
The study, conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looked at 1,676 deaths in Minnesota’s Unexplained Death surveillance system (UNEX) from 2006 to 2015. This system is meant to refer cases with no clear cause of death to further testing and analysis.
In total, 59 of the UNEX deaths, or about 3.5 percent, were linked to opioids. But more than half of these opioid-linked deaths didn’t show up in Minnesota’s official total for opioid overdose deaths.
Given that this is just one death surveillance system in a state that only had a bit more than 300 reported opioid overdose deaths in 2015, it’s possible that these dozens of deaths speak to a much bigger problem of undercounting the opioid epidemic nationwide. It’s unclear just how widespread of a problem this is in other death surveillance systems and other states, but the study’s findings suggest that the numbers we have so far for opioid overdose deaths are at best a minimum.”
Source: Vox.com – April 26, 2017