U.S. Drug OD Death Rates Now Higher in Cities Than Rural Areas

FRIDAY, Aug. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Big cities once again have higher drug overdose death rates than rural areas of the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Such deaths had been concentrated in rural areas for more than a dozen years, the Associated Press reported.

A CDC report released Friday said that in 2016 and 2017, overdose death rates in cities were higher than in rural areas. In 2017, the urban rate was 22 overdose deaths per 100,000 people, compared with 20 per 100,000 in rural areas.

Rates for 2018 and 2019 are not yet available, but experts believe the urban rate is likely to remain higher in the near future, the AP reported.

The U.S. is facing its deadliest drug overdose epidemic ever, and there were about 68,000 overdose deaths last year, according to preliminary CDC data released last month.

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