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Opioid trends across Washington state

Death data from the Washington State Department of Health Center for Health Statistics are combined with population data from the Office of Financial Management to create rates of death. Data include only deaths for which an underlying cause of death was determined to be any opioid. For more information on data, see details at the end of the page.

ST. JOHNSBURY, VT – FEBRUARY 06: Drugs are prepared to shoot intravenously by a user addicted to heroin on February 6, 2014 in St. Johnsbury Vermont. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin recently devoted his entire State of the State speech to the scourge of heroin. Heroin and other opiates have begun to devastate many communities in the Northeast and Midwest leading to a surge in fatal overdoses in a number of states. As prescription painkillers, such as the synthetic opiate OxyContin, become increasingly expensive and regulated, more and more Americans are turning to heroin to fight pain or to get high. Heroin, which has experienced a surge in production in places such as Afghanistan and parts of Central America, has a relatively inexpensive street price and provides a more powerful affect on the user. New York City police are currently investigating the death of the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman who was found dead last Sunday with a needle in his arm. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Any opioid: primary categories and sub-categories
Probable heroin
Other opioids
Commonly prescribed opioids
Methadone
Other natural and semi-synthetic opioids: Oxycodone, codeine, morphine, etc.
Other synthetic opioids: Pethidine, tramadol, fentanyl and analogues, etc.
Other and unspecified narcotics, including opium
Deaths attributed to any opioid: 72% increase

As a whole, opioid deaths regardless of subtype occur throughout the state. Modest declines in the opioid death rate in Chelan and Spokane Counties (and some smaller counties) between 2002-2004 and 2014-2016 have been outweighed by increases in most counties, particularly more populous counties. The later period reflects a decline in deaths from intervening years–opioid deaths peaked in 2009 at 720 statewide.

Read more HERE

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