Overdose Deaths Involving Fentanyl and Fentanyl Analogs — New York City, 2000–2017


What is already known about this topic?

During 1999–2017, the rate of drug overdose deaths nationally approximately tripled; approximately 70,000 overdose deaths occurred nationally in 2017, with nearly 68% involving an opioid.

What is added by this report?

Using toxicology data, New York City identified fentanyl in 2% of drug overdose deaths during 2000–2012. By 2017, fentanyl was involved in 57% of all drug overdose deaths in New York City.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Universal fentanyl testing by local medical examiners and inclusion of drug-specific language on death certificates can aid surveillance and address the role of fentanyl in drug overdoses. Community-level educational outreach is indicated when an increase in fentanyl involvement is detected.

webinar 'Prevention of Prescription Drug Misuse Among the Latino Community'
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02:00 pm
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The Evidence Podcasts

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) has produced a new series of podcasts that are investigating and reviewing the evidence on alcohol, cannabis, opioids, stigma and more.

Each month, The Evidence podcast will feature guests from CCSA and those working in the field.

The podcast is a combination of information, research and knowledge, and accounts from people who face substance use disorders every day in their personal and professional lives.  

SPR 2019 Awards Nominations

The  Society for Prevention Research are now accepting nominations for their 2019 Awards. The deadline for nominations is Thursday, February 28, 2019.

The 11 different awards are designed to recognize excellence in the areas consistent with SPR’s mission:

The Society for Prevention Research is an organization dedicated to advancing scientific investigation on the etiology and prevention of social, physical and mental health, and academic problems and on the translation of that information to promote health and well being. The multi-disciplinary membership of SPR is international and includes scientists, practitioners, advocates, administrators, and policy makers who value the conduct and dissemination of prevention science worldwide.

For further details on each of the categories of awards and information regarding the procedure for submitting a nomination click here.

The Opioid Crisis and the Future of Addiction and Pain Therapeutics

Event Date
Bethesda, Maryland
United States

This National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)-sponsored The Opioid Crisis and the Future of Addiction and Pain Therapeutics: Opportunities, Tools, and Technologies Symposium will highlight challenges and opportunities throughout the discovery and development process for addiction- and pain-related medications in the pre-competitive preclinical stage and provide a framework for more focused efforts within the research community.

Symposium Goals

  1. Identify next generation targets and pathways for pain and addiction treatment.
  2. Highlight lessons learned from successes and failures with current pain and addiction targets.
  3. Discuss biomarkers to enable clinical trials.
  4. Describe more predictive in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo assays for pain and addiction to validate new targets, pathways and clinical candidates and to address safety and efficacy.
  5. Examine new discovery technologies and methodologies for pain and addiction therapeutics (including small molecules and biologics).
  6. Highlight key NIH resources and initiatives to support the development of pain and addiction therapeutics.
Partner Organisation

Frequency of Use Among Middle and High School Student Tobacco Product Users


What is already known about this topic?

Most tobacco product use begins during adolescence or young adulthood, increasing the risk for lifelong nicotine addiction and adverse health effects.

What is added by this report?

During 2015–2017, the proportion of students currently using cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, or hookahs who used each product ≥20 of the past 30 days ranged from 14.0% of cigar smokers to 38.7% of smokeless tobacco users among high school students and from 13.1% of e-cigarette users to 24.5% of hookah smokers among middle school students.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Understanding tobacco product use patterns including frequency of use is important for sustained implementation of proven tobacco control strategies and the regulation of tobacco products.

Substance Use Disorders among Veterans

Individuals may use substances as a coping strategy for dealing with the stress and trauma they have experienced.
Individuals may use substances as a coping strategy for dealing with the stress and trauma they have experienced.

It is recognised that veterans are more likely to experience a range of mental health conditions such as anxiety, major depression, substance use disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Many individuals use substances as a coping strategy for dealing with the stress and trauma they have experienced.

In a recent study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, researchers have analysed substance use disorder prevalence and treatment among veterans. 

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism collected information from 36,301 United States civilian adults using the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III. The researchers carried out interviews with the participants to find out more about their veteran status, use of substances, levels of functioning and their use of treatment for substance use disorders.

The results show that the veterans’ predicted prevalence of any past-year substance use disorder was 32.9% and lifetime use disorder was 52.5%. The differences in lifetime substance use disorder were linked with differences in substance-specific disorders, namely alcohol use disorder and tobacco use disorder. The research also found that veterans reported significantly lower functioning in almost all physical and mental health domains and veterans with SUD reported the lowest functioning overall. Veterans were more likely to use a treatment such as self-help, service from a professional, and outpatient intervention. It is notable however that although a minority of veterans with past-year SUD receive treatment, most do not perceive themselves as needing this kind of support.

It is vital to continue to gather data and analyse trends to advance the understanding of specific risk factors associated with substance use disorders within this population. This will also help guide effective treatment options.

Drugs Most Frequently Involved in Drug Overdose Deaths: United States, 2011–2016


Objective: This report identifies the specific drugs involved most frequently in drug overdose deaths in the United States from 2011 through 2016.

Methods: Record-level data from the 2011–2016 National Vital Statistics System–Mortality files were linked to electronic files containing literal text information from death certificates. Drug overdose deaths were identified using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision underlying causeof-death codes X40–X44, X60–X64, X85, and Y10–Y14. Drug mentions were identified by searching the literal text in three fields of the death certificate: the causes of death from Part I, significant conditions contributing to death from Part II, and a description of how the injury occurred. Contextual information was used to determine drug involvement in the death. Descriptive statistics were calculated for drug overdose deaths involving the 10 most frequently mentioned drugs. Deaths involving more than one drug (e.g., a death involving both heroin and cocaine) were counted in all relevant drug categories (e.g., the same death was included in counts of heroin deaths and in counts of cocaine deaths).

Results: Among drug overdose deaths that mentioned at least one specific drug, the 10 most frequently mentioned drugs during 2011–2016 included fentanyl, heroin, hydrocodone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, alprazolam, diazepam, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Oxycodone ranked first in 2011, heroin during 2012–2015, and fentanyl in 2016. During the study period, cocaine consistently ranked second or third. From 2011 through 2016, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving heroin more than tripled, as did the rate of drug overdose deaths involving methamphetamine. The rate of drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl and fentanyl analogs doubled each year from 2013 through 2016, from 0.6 per 100,000 in 2013 to 1.3 in 2014, 2.6 in 2015, and 5.9 in 2016. The rate of overdose deaths involving methadone decreased from 1.4 per 100,000 in 2011 to 1.1 in 2016. The 10 most frequently mentioned drugs often were found in combination with each other. The drugs most frequently mentioned varied by the intent of the drug overdose death. In 2016, the drugs most frequently mentioned in unintentional drug overdose deaths were fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine, while the drugs most frequently mentioned in suicides by drug overdose were oxycodone, diphenhydramine, hydrocodone, and alprazolam.

Conclusions: This report identifies patterns in the specific drugs most frequently involved in drug overdose deaths from 2011 through 2016 and highlights the importance of complete and accurate reporting in the literal text on death certificates.

Drugs of Abuse: A DEA Resource Guide, 2017 Edition

Education plays a critical role in preventing substance abuse. Drugs of Abuse, A DEA Resource Guide, is designed to be a reliable resource on the most commonly abused and misused drugs in the United States. This comprehensive guide provides important information about the harms and consequences of drug use by describing a drug’s effects on the body and mind, overdose potential, origin, legal status, and other key facts.

Drugs of Abuse also offers a list of additional drug education and prevention resources, including the DEA websites: www.DEA.gov; www.JustThinkTwice.com, aimed at teenagers; www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com, designed for parents, educators, and caregivers; and www.operationprevention.com.

Report on Drug Use in the Americas 2019, Executive Summary

Drug use continues to represent a significant problem in the Americas, and one that challenges policy makers at the highest levels. The Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (known by its Spanish language acronym, CICAD), of the Organization of American States (OAS), serves as the preeminent Western Hemisphere forum for policy discussion and hemispheric cooperation on drugs. Along with other responsibilities, the Executive Secretariat of CICAD supports OAS member states by providing an evidence-based picture of the drug problem, both nationally and at the hemispheric level, so that member states can design and implement policies and programs to address the problem.

The Report on Drug Use in the Americas 2019 analyzes current drug use data in the Hemisphere. It features information on the most widely used drugs across the region, organized by drug and by population group, and highlights emerging issues of interest to policy-makers and to the public. The Report draws on data obtained primarily through national surveys using the Inter-American Uniform Drug Use Data System (known by its Spanish language acronym, SIDUC), developed by the CICAD Executive Secretariat.