Movember 2022: Men and Drug Overdoses (and Giving Tuesday!)

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/movember-2022-men-and-drug-overdoses

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Remember the graph I made showing the suicide trend for men crossing over from prostate cancer?

Let me layer on unintentional drug overdoses:

Yeah, it’s as bad as it looks.

While death rates due to suicide increased by about 30% over the 20-year period, death rates due to unintentional drug overdoses increased by over 500%.

None of this is really a surprise. I’ve written about the drug OD problem many times before, which had a horrible trend before the pandemic and got much, much worse during the pandemic.

Much of the increase came in 2020 and 2021 — over 30% in 2020, and 17% in 2021. These are huge increases on rates that were already bad.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 29 Nov 2022

Publication Site: STUMP at substack

Millennial Massacre Part 2: Increase In Mortality for Ages 18-39 for 2020-2021 Mainly Driven by Drug Overdoses and COVID

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/millennial-massacre-part-2-increase

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  • About 30% of the contribution to excess mortality for young adults in 2021 came from drug overdoses.
  • The percentage contribution to excess mortality of drug ODs was not that different by age group over the 18-39 age span.
  • COVID as a contribution to excess mortality was higher for older people —- for those age 35-39, 36% of their excess mortality came from COVID in 2021. In contrast, for those age 18-24, only 17% of their excess mortality came from COVID.
  • Indeed, the youngest of the adults (age 18-24) had higher contributions from homicide (20% of excess mortality) and had comparable excess mortality contribution from motor vehicle accidents (16%) in 2021.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 23 Jul 2022

Publication Site: STUMP at substack

Fentanyl Overdose Rates Are Rising Fast

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/overdose-rates-are-rising-fast-cdc-drugs-opiod-crisis-substance-abuse-addiction-fatal-syringe-11652904604

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The latest tally of fatal drug overdoses from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows nearly 108,000 fatalities in 2021. This is far more than in 2017, when President Trump declared drug deaths a public-health emergency. Among blacks, the drug mortality rate has quadrupled in less than eight years.

The Trump administration acted aggressively and directed agencies to implement several recommendations from the Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. These included changes to prescribing patterns, treatment paradigms and law-enforcement procedures. The rate of deaths from drug overdoses slowed and then dipped. But then Covid hit, with all its mental-health consequences. The addiction and overdose crisis is now the most important public-health issue facing the country.

…..

Coincident with policy changes advertised as civil-rights progress, the comparatively low drug-overdose rate for blacks began to accelerate. It reached the white rate by 2019 and then surged past it during the pandemic to reach 43 annually per 100,000 of the black population by last September.

Rather than gawking at an accelerating overdose crisis, policy makers could benefit people of all races by investigating new sources of demand and supply. Instead, in a world where a single backpack of fentanyl could kill a million people, Mr. Biden eliminates the controls on illegal immigration instituted by his predecessor.

Author(s): Joseph Grogan and Casey B. Mulligan

Publication Date: 18 May 2022

Publication Site: WSJ

Childhood Mortality Trends, 1999-2021 (provisional), Ages 1-17

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/childhood-mortality-trends-1999-2021

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There was the good news from before the pandemic: the accidental death rate had come way, way down. That was mostly due to improved traffic safety. (Not reduced drug ODs, alas)

In the pandemic, both increased motor vehicle deaths and drug overdoses has pushed up the accidental death rate for teens to increase to levels seen a decade ago.

But there was a bad pre-pandemic trend: suicide rates had increased from 2007 to 2018 — increasing a total of 120% over that period. That was hideous.

It seemed to have reversed in 2019, and come down during the pandemic. The suicide trends in the pandemic really made no sense to anybody, but perhaps the increased drug ODs were actually suicides.

Homicides didn’t have a steady trend before the pandemic, but has definitely had a bad trend during the pandemic. Homicide death rates for teens increased over 50% from 2019 to 2021.

One observation: suicide and homicide death rates used to be about the same for teens in the early 2000s, and then with the bad suicide trend, suicide ranked higher. Even with the increase in homicide rates, suicide still ranks higher.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 15 June 2022

Publication Site: STUMP at substack

Drug-Overdose Deaths Reached a Record in 2021, Fueled by Fentanyl

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/drug-overdose-deaths-reached-a-record-in-2021-fueled-by-fentanyl-11652277600

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Drug-overdose deaths in 2021 topped 100,000 for the first time in a calendar year, federal data showed, a record high fueled by the spread of illicit forms of fentanyl throughout the country.

More than 107,000 people in the U.S. died from drug overdoses last year, preliminary Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released Wednesday showed, roughly a 15% increase from 2020. The proliferation of the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl has been compounded by the destabilizing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on users and people in recovery, according to health authorities and treatment providers.

The U.S. has recorded more than one million overdose deaths since 2000, and more than half of those came in the past seven years.

….

The agency has counted about 103,600 overdoses for 2021 but believes the number is several thousand higher due to suspected overdoses that haven’t yet been confirmed by local death investigators, Dr. Anderson said.

Author(s): Jon Kamp

Publication Date: 11 May 2022

Publication Site: WSJ

U.S. Mortality Trends Through the Pandemic

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/us-mortality-trends-through-the-pandemic?s=w

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I discuss this in the portion of the talk about death rates by age group.

For 2021, the worst relative increase in mortality, compared to 2019, was for ages 30-44.

[I have called it the Millennial Massacre, but it obviously overlaps with Gen X…. and Middle Age Massacre doesn’t exactly work, either. Dang the allure of alliteration].

We will see in a moment that most of that mortality increase didn’t come from COVID.

If you look at overall mortality, obviously total mortality for this age group is much lower than for those much older.

A 5% increase in mortality for those aged 85+ will translate to a much larger number of deaths, but a 50% increase in mortality for those aged 40-44 is extremely worrisome to actuaries and insurers even if the absolute number of deaths is lower in impact. We’re setting reserves and expectations based on certain assumptions, and we’re generally not assuming fluctuations of 50% — that’s just nuts compared to our historical experience…..

…..until now.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 20 May 2022

Publication Site: STUMP on substack

Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts

Link:https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm

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This data visualization presents provisional counts for drug overdose deaths based on a current flow of mortality data in the National Vital Statistics System. Counts for the most recent final annual data are provided for comparison. National provisional counts include deaths occurring within the 50 states and the District of Columbia as of the date specified and may not include all deaths that occurred during a given time period. Provisional counts are often incomplete and causes of death may be pending investigation (see Technical notes) resulting in an underestimate relative to final counts. To address this, methods were developed to adjust provisional counts for reporting delays by generating a set of predicted provisional counts (see Technical notes).

Author(s): Ahmad FB, Rossen LM, Sutton P

Publication Date: accessed 5 Feb 2022

Publication Site: CDC

Illinois data: Deaths of people 18 to 49 soar in 2020-21; most of excess not COVID-related

Link: https://www.thecentersquare.com/illinois/illinois-data-deaths-of-people-18-to-49-soar-in-2020-21-most-of-excess/article_091b8228-807c-11ec-b235-239935b60883.html#new_tab

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Nearly 27% more people ages 18 to 49 in Illinois have died in each of the past two years than in each of the three years prior. COVID-related deaths in that age group account for just a minority of the excess deaths.

Data the Illinois Department of Public Health provided The Center Square show 29% more fatalities in 2021 and 24% more in 2020 when compared to the average for the three years prior for those ages 18 to 49. Combined for 2020 and 2021, the total number of deaths among that demographic is 21,511.

…..

COVID-related deaths in the past two years totals about 1,700 for that age group. Subtracting the 1,700 COVID deaths from the excess death total of 4,467 leaves 2,767 excess deaths for 2020 and 2021 that are not categorized by IDPH, meaning the causes of death for the excess 2,767 are not described.

…..

While COVID-19 is listed as the third leading cause of death in Illinois for all ages in 2020, the leading cause of deaths IDPH lists for those 18 to 44 is accidents, assaults, suicides and heart disease. COVID-19 is not listed as a leading cause of death at all for ages 18 to 24. COVID-19 does show up at No. 6 for those 25 to 44, or 370 out of a total of 6,439.

Author(s): Greg Bishop

Publication Date: 28 Jan 2022

Publication Site: The Center Square

More than 1 million have died in the overdose crisis, but still the response is scandalously inadequate

Link:https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/24/dopesick-author-on-opioid-crisis/

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These are measures taken by people desperately fighting, largely on their own, against a drug-overdose death toll that historically has killed more Americans than the coronavirus pandemic. Since 1996, the year OxyContin launched and the United States’ health-care system fell prey to the lie that opioid painkillers were safe for virtually everything from headaches to wisdom-tooth surgery, more than 1 million Americans have died of overdoses; the coronavirus pandemic has claimed about 850,000. During the first year of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a record 100,000 annual overdose deaths.

….

But with an even more lethal overdose crisis — and that’s not counting all the addiction-related deaths from hepatitis, endocarditis and suicide — the nation’s leadership appears capable of only minor tweaks.

Some blue-leaning states and cities now offer evidence-backed practices such as supplying drug users with clean needles and fentanyl test strips, and even offering medically supervised spaces to inject illicit drugs — all of which foster important connections to professional care and wraparound services. But in much of the world’s richest nation, where a few million Americans suffer with opioid use disorder, these measures remain anathema.

The pandemic-prompted loosening of federal regulations for the telehealth prescribing of buprenorphine, the lifesaving addiction medication, has been a bright spot, particularly for rural people who have long struggled with transportation issues. But that policy change remains temporary and the treatment gap (with an estimated 10 to 12 percent of addicted people receiving treatment in an average year) has barely budged.

….

Epidemiologists predict that by 2029, U.S. overdose deaths will have doubled to nearly 2 million. Until we stop arresting and abandoning people who use drugs and start meeting them where they are with treatment and compassion, rare will be the family that remains untouched.

Author(s): Beth Macy

Publication Date: 24 Jan 2022

Publication Site: Washington Post

Nationwide Surge In Deaths Among People Aged 18-49: A State by State Overview

Link: https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morningbrief/northeast-fares-best-amid-2021-prime-age-mortality-spike_4208797.html

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Deaths among people aged 18 to 49 increased more than 40 percent in the 12 months ending October 2021 compared to the same period in 2018–2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an analysis of death certificate data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by The Epoch Times.

The agency doesn’t yet have full 2021 numbers, as death certificate data trickles in with a lag of one to eight weeks or more.

…..

It’s not clear why the mortality spike seemed to exhibit a geographical trend. Overall, a part of the surge could be likely blamed on drug overdoses, which increased to more than 101,000 in the 12 months ending June 2021 from about 72,000 in 2019, the CDC estimated. About two-thirds of those deaths involved synthetic opioids including fentanyl that are often smuggled to the United States from China through Mexico.

For those ages 50 to 84, mortality went up more than 27 percent, representing more than 470,000 excess deaths. Almost four out of five of the deaths had COVID marked on the death certificate as the cause or a contributing factor.

Author(s): Petr Savb

Publication Date: 13 Jan 2022

Publication Site: The Epoch Times

Opioids and the Unattached Male

Link: https://www.city-journal.org/opioids-and-the-unattached-male

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From 2010 to 2019, the drug-related death rate among never-married prime-age white men increased some 125 percent: from 52 deaths per 100,000 to 117 (including 2020 would show an even steeper rise, but the pandemic affected Census data collection). If single and divorced prime-age white men had seen opioid deaths rise by only the same rate as those deaths rose among their married counterparts, the U.S. would have seen 38,800 fewer deaths from drug-related causes over the past decade just among this demographic group.

A marriage certificate is no prophylactic against the scourge of drug overdoses, of course. Marital status is correlated with income, race, and age; while death certificates don’t report income, we know that married decedents are more likely to be white, older, and better-educated. Controlling for those factors still shows single men to be at greater risk of dying from drug-related causes than married ones.

Author(s): Patrick T. Brown

Publication Date: 14 Jan 2022

Publication Site: City Journal

Drug overdose deaths top 100,000 annually for the first time, driven by fentanyl, CDC data show

Link:https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/17/health/drug-overdose-deaths-record-high/index.html

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More than 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States during the 12-month period ending April 2021, according to provisional data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That’s a new record high, with overdose deaths jumping 28.5% from the same period a year earlier and nearly doubling over the past five years.

Opioids continue to be the driving cause of drug overdose deaths. Synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, caused nearly two-thirds (64%) of all drug overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending April 2021, up 49% from the year before, the CDC’s ‘s National Center for Health Statistics found.

Author(s): Deidre McPhillips

Publication Date: 17 Nov 2021

Publication Site: CNN