Assessment of Changes in the Geographical Distribution of Opioid-Related Mortality Across the United States by Opioid Type, 1999-2016

Mathew V. Kiang, Sanjay Basu and Jarvis Chen:

Question How has opioid-related mortality changed over time across the United States, and how have the types of opioids associated with these deaths changed?

Findings In this cross-sectional study of 351 564 US residents who died from opioid-related causes, the age-standardized mortality rate from opioids increased more than 2-fold every 2 years in 24 eastern states, reflecting an expansion from lower-income, rural states. The life expectancy lost at age 15 years from opioids is now greater than that lost from deaths due to firearms or motor vehicle crashes in most of the United States.