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NCHS data on drug-poisoning deaths
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  • Description:
    Poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in the United States. Drugs—both pharmaceutical and illicit—cause the vast majority of poisoning deaths.

    NCHS uses the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to monitor deaths

    due to drug poisoning. NVSS collects and compiles mortality information from death certificates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. NCHS identifies the number of drug-poisoning deaths from the underlying cause of death section on death certificates. Multiple causes of death are used to identify the drugs involved. In 2014, approximately 19% of death certificates for drug-poisoning deaths lacked information on the specific drugs involved.

    Hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone are examples of natural and semisynthetic opioid analgesics. Fentanyl—which can be manufactured illicitly—and methadone are examples of synthetic opioid analgesics.



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