The incidence of fatal drug overdoses in Oregon slowly rose from 2015 to the end of 2019 but then skyrocketed by the end of 2020. The number of people who died from an overdose nearly doubled between 2019 and 2022.
The National Center for Health Statistics reports that 1,161 persons in Oregon lost their lives to drug overdoses that year.
It’s hard to wrap one’s head around such a big number, especially considering that 610 individuals in Oregon died of drug overdoses just three years earlier, in 2019. There has been a 47% rise in fatalities.
Deaths from drug overdoses are not a problem exclusive to Oregon. The NCHS reports that they also started rising rapidly in the United States at the beginning of the year 2020.
But the state of Oregon has witnessed a much higher percentage increase in overdose deaths than the rest of the country. Deaths from overdoses increased by 32% in the United States between 2019 and 2022.
You can also read the tweet about drug overdose deaths here:
Drug overdose deaths had been increasing ever so slightly in Oregon from 2015 through the end of 2019 – but by the end of 2020, the numbers shot upward.
— KOIN News (@KOINNews) May 25, 2023
From December 2021 to December 2022, the number of drug overdose deaths in the United States fell by 2%.
In a press release issued on May 18, 2023, the CDC reported late 2022 drug overdose death data. “The biggest percentage increase in overdose deaths in 2022 occurred in Washington and Wyoming, where deaths were up 22%,” the release read.
In 2022, the leading causes of death in Oregon were opioids, synthetic opioids, psychostimulants with misuse potential, heroin, and natural and semi-synthetic opioids. Methamphetamine and ecstasy are two well-known examples of psychostimulants. Morphine and codeine are two examples of natural opioids. But fentanyl is a man-made opioid.
The most recent information from the NCHS is from 2022. The CDC has stated that preliminary data for 2023 will not be made public until the fall. State vital registration offices report drug overdose deaths to the NCHS.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that the number of deaths in Oregon from drug overdoses may be higher than reported owing to missing data.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, fentanyl abuse was a major factor in the dramatic rise in opioid overdose deaths from 2019 to 2021.
“Over the last 30 months, fentanyl has become a leading cause of overdose deaths, particularly among people who don’t have access to harm-reduction services,” OHA wrote in a press release.
The links below will take you to more detailed information on Oregon.
- Portland, Oregon, Will Clear Sidewalk Tents in Disability Rights Lawsuit Settlement.
- Fuel Tanker Truck Driver Dies After Hitting a Tree Outside Lyons, Oregon.
Health experts from the state recommended local governments to stock up on naloxone. An opioid overdose can be quickly reversed with the use of rescue medication. Legislators have been working on a package of proposals for the 2023 session that would increase access to naloxone.
As per the OHA analysts, fentanyl overdoses claimed more lives in roughly a third of Oregon’s counties in 2021.
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