Urban–rural differences in drug overdose deaths rates, 1999–2019
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Urban–rural differences in drug overdose deaths rates, 1999–2019

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    Data from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality ● From 1999 through 2019, the rate of drug overdose deaths increased from 6.4 per 100,000 to 22.0 in urban counties and from 4.0 to 19.6 in rural counties. ● In 2019, rates in rural counties were higher than in urban counties in California, Connecticut, North Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. ● Rates of drug overdose deaths involving natural and semisynthetic opioids (drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine) were higher in rural than in urban counties from 2004 through 2017 but were similar in 2018 and 2019. ● In 2019, the rate of drug overdose deaths involving psychostimulants with abuse potential (drugs such as methamphetamine) was 1.4 times higher in rural counties (6.7 per 100,000) than in urban counties (4.8). Drug overdose death rates continue to rise in the United States (1–3), with significant urban–rural differences in rates by sex, age, and types of drugs involved (4). This report uses the most recent mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to examine urban–rural differences in drug overdose death rates for all drugs and by selected types of opioids and stimulants. Suggested citation: Hedegaard H, Spencer MR. Urban–rural differences in drug overdose death rates, 1999–2019. NCHS Data Brief, no 403. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2021. DOI: https://dx.doi. org/10.15620/cdc:102891. CS322824 db403-H.pdf
  • Content Notes:
    Key findings --From 2016 through 2019, age-adjusted drug overdose death rates were higher in urban counties than in rural counties -- In 2019, rates of overdose deaths were higher in rural counties than in urban counties in five states -- Urban–rural differences in trends in overdose deaths varied by type of opioid and over time -- Urban–rural differences in trends in overdose deaths also varied by type of stimulant and over time -- Summary -- Definitions -- Data source and methods -- About the authors -- References -- Suggested citation.
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