Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy

State of the Problem

The country is in the midst of a rapidly shifting opioid overdose epidemic. In 2016, 1 in 65 of all deaths in the United States were opioid related. Opioid overdoses now claim more lives per year than HIV/AIDS did at the height of the epidemic. For every fatal overdose, an unknown but large number of individuals suffer from chronic opioid abuse and non-fatal overdose, with devastating individual and societal consequences. The face of the epidemic is also evolving and shifting in ways that challenge traditional epidemiologic surveillance methods—from prescription opioids in 1999-2010, to heroin in 2010-2013, to illegally manufactured and potent synthetics like fentanyl that we see today.

Charts
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(1 / 4) Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Multiple Cause of Death 1999-2017 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released December, 2018

Opioid Overdose Deaths by Age per 100,000. United States, 2017

Opioid Overdose Deaths by Age per 100,000. United States, 2017
(2 / 4) Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Multiple Cause of Death 1999-2017 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released December, 2018

Opioid Overdose Deaths by Sex per 100,000. United States, 2017

Opioid Overdose Deaths by Sex per 100,000. United States, 2017
(3 / 4) Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Multiple Cause of Death 1999-2017 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released December, 2018

Opioid Overdose Deaths by Race/Ethnicity per 100,000. United States, 2017

Opioid Overdose Deaths by Race/Ethnicity per 100,000. United States, 2017
(4 / 4) CDC Injury Center. Understanding the Opioid Epidemic 2019. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html

3 Waves in the Rise of Opioid Overdose. United States, 1999-2017

3 Waves in the Rise of Opioid Overdose. United States, 1999-2017

       
 

Center goals

This center aims: (1) to develop sound scientific evidence on the nature, causes, and consequences of the opioid overdose epidemic; (2) to inform evidence-based policies to prevent opioid misuse, disorder and overdose; and (3) to expand such efforts through training and education in opioid epidemiology and policy research and its applications.

Areas of work

The center has four planned focal areas of work: (1) building a central repository of data on state and municipal policies and health outcomes associated with opioid misuse; (2) tracking how the opioid epidemic is evolving, and predicting future hotspots of opioid misuse; (3) evaluating the impact that specific drug policies and other social determinants have on opioid misuse; and (4) examining the impact of community-level spikes in opioid misuse on the health of local populations.