While opioids were grabbing the headlines, cocaine overdose deaths in the United States have marched upward, nearly tripling over five years, a new government report shows.
After a period of stability, cocaine-induced deaths rose by about 27% per year, on average, from 2013 through 2018, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
“While much attention has been given to the increase in drug overdose deaths involving opioids, it’s also important to recognize that deaths involving other drugs, such as cocaine, have also increased in recent years,” said Dr. Holly Hedegaard, lead researcher and injury epidemiologist at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
In 2018, those most likely to die from cocaine were men, adults aged 35 to 44, Black people and city dwellers in the Northeast. Knowing who’s most vulnerable can help in forming prevention strategies, Hedegaard said.
Given this alarming rise, “focused efforts are