Rates of fatal drug overdoses are now higher in urban counties than in rural areas, according to a new analysis from the National Center for Health Statistics.
Between 2007 and 2015, drug overdose death rates were higher in rural counties than in urban counties, CNN reports. Starting in 2016, drug overdose death rates were higher in urban counties.
The analysis found while urban counties had higher rates of overdose deaths involving heroin, cocaine and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl in 2017, rural counties had higher overdose death rates involving prescription opioids including morphine, codeine, hydrocodone and oxycodone.
There were 5.2 heroin-related overdose deaths for every 100,000 people in urban counties in 2017, compared with 2.9 per 100,000 people in rural counties.
How to Use Naloxone to Reverse Opioid Overdose and Save Lives
A variety of drugs and drug combinations carry the risk of fatal overdose. Emergency protocol for any suspected overdose includes calling 911. However, in the case of opioids, which includes heroin and prescription pain medications like Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet, naloxone (also known by the brand name Narcan) can reverse an overdose, potentially saving a loved one’s life.