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Am J Public Health. 2006 Oct;96(10):1755-7.

Opioid analgesic involvement in drug abuse deaths in American metropolitan areas.

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  • 1Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga 30341, USA.


I measured the role of opioid analgesics in drug abuse-related deaths in a consistent panel of 28 metropolitan areas from the Drug Abuse Warning Network. The number of reports of opioid analgesics increased 96.6% from 1997 to 2002; methadone, oxycodone, and unspecified opioid analgesics accounted for 74.3% of the increase. Oxycodone reports increased 727.8% (from 72 to 596 reports). By 2002, opioid analgesics were noted more frequently than were heroin or cocaine. Dramatic increases in the availability of such opioids have made their abuse a major, growing problem.

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