Drug Deaths Increase Among Middle-Aged, White Missourians

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Drug Deaths Increase Among Middle-Aged, White Missourians

New research from the Hospital Industry Data Institute finds that drugs caused more than three-quarters of the increase in the overall mortality rates for Missouri white males since 1999. In 2015, populationwide, white males ages 25 to 55 had a drug-induced death rate 43 percent higher than the expected rate, while non-white males had a 16 percent higher rate. The 25- to 55-year-old male demographic was the only segment of the population to experience a higher than expected rate of drug-related mortality.

Key Findings:

  • Missouri is the only state in the nation without a prescription drug monitoring program.
  • The human toll of the opioid crisis in Missouri has been extensive, with 12,585 drug-induced overdose deaths in the state since 1999.
  • During the same period, the age-adjusted rate of drug-induced deaths in Missouri increased by 247 percent.
  • Similar to recent national studies, drug-induced deaths in Missouri have been most impactful to the middle-aged non-Hispanic white population.
  • Drug-induced mortality caused more than three-quarters of the 11 percent increase in the overall mortality rates for white males ages 25 to 54 in Missouri since 1999.
  • 75 percent of new heroin users report that their addiction began by abusing prescription opioids that can typically be tracked by a PDMP.
  • 43 percent of hospital patients with a heroin overdose death in 2016 had a history of hospital utilization for prescription opioid abuse during the previous four years.

Read the research here.