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The death rate from drug overdoses more than doubled between 1999 and 2015, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data released Friday paint a bleak picture about the who, what and where of the epidemic.
While the overall rate of death from drug overdose increased to 16.3 per 100,000 people in 2015 from 6.1 in 2009, the rate for men reached 20.8, 1.5 times the rate in 1999. For women, the rate more than doubled, to 11.8 per 100,000.
People ages 45 to 54 had the highest death rate from drug overdoses in 2015, at 30 deaths per 100,000. Those ages 55 to 64 saw the largest increase between 1999 and 2015, from 4.2 per 100,000 to 21.8. The rates for people between 25 and 64 were more than twice that for people 15 to 24, and more than 3.5 times the rate for those over 65.
White people in the U.S. also had the biggest increase in the death rate from drug overdoses between 1999 and 2015, from 6.2 per 100,000 to 21.1, an average increase of 7 percent a year. For black people, the rate increased from 7.5 per 100,000 to 12.2, an average annual increase of 2 percent, and for Hispanic people, 5.4 per 100,000 to 7.7, also an average 2 percent annual uptick.
Heroin was involved in 25 percent of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2015, from 8 percent in 2010. Natural and semisynthetic opioids, like oxycodone and hydrocodone, accounted for 24 percent of overdose deaths in 2015, down from 29 percent in 2010. Synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, were involved in 18 percent of overdose deaths in 2015, from 8 percent in 2010.