State releases update on current state of drug overdose mortality

Thursday, July 28th, 2022 1:42pm

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – The Alaska Health Analytics and Vital Records Section and Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention have announced the release of its 2021 Drug Overdose Mortality Update.

The data brief is now available here.

Drug overdoses are a significant contributor to mortality in Alaska and represent an ongoing public health concern. Deaths by overdose have been increasing annually since 2018.

The report is designed to provide an update on the current state of Alaska drug overdose mortality through 2021. Data in the report is considered provisional and subject to change.

Notable findings are:

  • In 2021, there were 253 overdose deaths, up from 146 in 2020.
  • The age-adjusted overdose death rate in 2021 was 35.2 deaths per 100,000 population, up from 20.2 in 2020.
  • Anchorage had the state’s highest age-adjusted overdose death rate by region in 2021, at 49.3 deaths per 100,000, up from 31.4 in 2020.
  • In 2021, there were 196 opioid overdose deaths, up from 102 in 2020. This includes 145 deaths involving fentanyl, up from 58 in 2000.
  • Methamphetamine was involved in 154 overdose deaths in 2021, up from 62 in 2020.
  • Out of the 778 drug overdose deaths between 2017 and 2021, 454 deaths (or 58.4%) involved a combination of two or more types of narcotic, sedative, or psychotropic drugs.

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