Drug Poisoning Deaths Quadruple, While Other Causes of Injury Deaths Down

A recent Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report (MMWR) reported the death rates for the three most frequently occurring causes of injury death: drug poisoning, motor vehicle traffic, and firearm.

In 2012, there were 41,502 drug poisoning deaths, 34,935 motor vehicle traffic deaths, and 33,563 firearm deaths. After adjusting for age, the death rate for drug poisoning was >4 times higher from 3.0 per 100,000 in 1979 to 13.1 per 100,000 in 2012. However, the rates for motor vehicle traffic deaths dropped from 22.1 to 10.9, and rates for firearm deaths dropped from 14.7 to 10.5. Deaths associated with drug poisoning began to surpass the rate of motor vehicle traffic death starting from 2009.

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Statistics include all injuries that were unintentional, suicide, homicide, undetermined intent, and legal intervention. Drug poisoning deaths also include causes such as drug overdose, or other misuse of drugs (legal and illegal).

The report notes that death rates for 1998 and earlier are not directly comparable with those calculated after 1998 due to the release of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10). The new version led to about 5% fewer deaths being classified under motor vehicle traffic, and 2% additional deaths being classified as poisoning.

For more information visit CDC.gov.

Image source: CDC.gov.