Rising Overdose Deaths Among Whites Described as “An Infectious Disease,” - Harbor Village

CDC: Rising Overdose Deaths Among Whites Described as “An Infectious Disease,” Critical Statistics


In reports released from the Centers for Disease Control, deaths among the African American communities has sharply declined; largely their analysis cites diminishing AIDS infection rates as the source of triumph. But there is another gem: the African American community has only suffered a slight rise in overdose deaths.

In stark contrast, white communities are steadily devastated from drug overdose deaths. The New York Times quotes Jonathan Skinner, a Dartmouth economist, asserts deaths rates among the white community mirror fatalities of a new infectious disease, “catching more and more people.”

The gap between death rates in African American communities and white communities have decreased by two-thirds.

While celebration is in order for the African American community for skirting deaths of what is continuing to prove the most fatal silent epidemic in the United States, the reason behind the disparity in death rates from overdose is less than kosher.

Dr. Kolodny, who is a senior scientist of the Heller School for Social Policy at Brandeis University and the chief medical officer of Phoenix House Foundation says,

“The answer is that racial stereotypes are protecting [African Americans] from the addiction epidemic.”

The reason? Medical doctors are less willing to prescribe opiate based medications to blacks for fear of substance abuse, and the selling of prescription medications.

A bittersweet blow for certain.


Overdose Statistics from 2011 – 2013

Overdose Deaths Rates in 2014:

Whites: 7,558


1. Opiate Overdose Deaths in 2014: 5,550 50% increase from 2013 (CDC)

2. Heroin Overdose Deaths in 2014: 10,574 (CDC)

3. Half a million Americans Perished from Overdoses from 2000 to 2014. (CDC)

4. Deaths from Oxycodone and hydrocodone (Dilaudid) increased 9% from 2013 to 2014


1.Women Overdoses from Rx Drugs Increased 400% from 1999-2010 (CDC)

2. In 2013 Drug Overdose was the leading cause of injury and fatality (CDC)

3. In 2013 Overdoses Caused More Deaths than Car Accidents (CDC)


Overdose Death by Prescriptions (CDC)

1. Out of 2.5 million Emergency Visits in 2011:

2. 1.4 Million Are Ascribed to Rx Drugs

3. 501,207 Cases for Anti-Anxiety & Insomnia Medications

4. 420,040 Opiate Painkillers (or Analgesics)

Further Reading:

Chris Christie Announces Closing Prison to Become Rehab Facility

6 Things Your Parents Won’t Tell You About Drugs

Addicted and Pregnant: How Do States Deal with Substance Abuse and Expectant Mothers?

The Impact of Drugs in Underprivileged Communities

15 Popular Sober Hangouts You Can Find Anywhere

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