HealthDay News — From 2013 to 2018, the rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine increased nearly threefold, according to an October data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Holly Hedegaard, M.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the National Vital Statistics System to examine drug overdose deaths involving cocaine from 2009 through 2018.

The researchers found that between 2009 and 2013, the rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine was stable, then increased nearly threefold from 2013 to 2018 — from 1.6 to 4.5 per 100,000. Rates were highest for adults aged 35 to 44 years in 2018, while those aged 65 years and older had the lowest rates. The rate was higher for the non-Hispanic Black population versus the non-Hispanic White and Hispanic populations in 2018 (9.0 versus 4.6 and 3.0 per 100,000, respectively). The rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine with opioids increased at a faster pace than the rate of cocaine deaths without opioids from 2014 through 2018. The highest rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine was seen in urban counties in the Northeast, while the lowest rate was seen in rural counties in the West in 2018.

“A key factor in the recent rise in deaths due to cocaine is the concurrent involvement of opioids,” the authors write.


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