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Patterns of rates of mortality from narcotics and cocaine overdose in Texas, 1976-87.
  • Published Date:
    1990 Sep-Oct
  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 105(5):455-462
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.67 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
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  • Description:
    Drug overdose mortality data for narcotics and cocaine for Texas for 1976-87 reveal a cyclic pattern of narcotics mortality falling from 0.92 per 100,000 population in 1976 to a low of 0.13 in 1979, and rising to 0.62 in 1986. The data also show a sharp increase in cocaine mortality from 0.07 per 100,000 in 1983 to 0.38 in 1987. The data indicate that men consistently are at higher risk than women for overdose from both categories of drugs. Hispanics in the El Paso and San Antonio areas were found to have much higher risk of mortality from narcotics than expected, while blacks in the Houston and Dallas areas were at higher risk of cocaine mortality. The evidence suggests that narcotics and cocaine mortality is highest among the blue collar categories of the work force. The cyclical pattern of drug overdose mortality suggests the need for more examination of the historical interplay of public policies and social factors against the magnitude of the drug problems. The differences in mortality patterns by sex, ethnicity, and location indicate the need to develop policies and programs that address the unique characteristics of different at-risk populations.

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