Important Facts for Drug-Induced Deaths
DefinitionDrug-induced death is defined as the number of deaths caused by drugs per 100,000 population. Drug-induced deaths are those in which drugs are the primary cause, whether unintentional or intentional.
NumeratorThe total number of drug-induced deaths per year.
DenominatorThe mid-year estimated population for annual rates.
Why Is This Important?For many years, New Mexico has been among the top U.S. states for drug-induced death, largely due to the high rates of unintentional drug poisoning or overdose. Although the burden from illicit drugs remains high, there has been a considerable rise in prescription drug overdose death in New Mexico and other U.S. states. In 2007, drug overdose was the leading cause of unintentional injury death in New Mexico and accounted for 9.6% of lost life due to premature death, among all causes of death.
In the U.S., drug overdose is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death behind motor vehicle crashes, but is the leading cause of injury death among persons 35 to 54 years of age. In 2007, unintentional drug overdose accounted for 6.0% of lost life due to premature death among all causes of death in the U.S.
In addition to the high death rates, drug abuse is one of the most costly health problems in the U.S. , estimated at $180.8 billion in 2002 according to costs of illness studies by the National Institutes of Health. (http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/economic_costs/). Drug abuse disorders are associated with a number of well-recognized sequelae: health consequences and their impacts on the health care system; criminal behavior, violence and participation in the drug trade, as a means for income; and job loss, with subsequent dependence on societal safety nets.
Healthy People 2010 Objective 15.8:Deaths from poisoning (age adjusted per 100,000 standard population)
U.S. Target for 2010: 1.5/100,000 population
Other ObjectivesNew Mexico's Community Health Status Indicators