Overdose deaths among U.S. adults 65 and older have more than tripled in the past two decades, a new government report finds.
Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found overdose death rates for older adults rose from 2.4 to 8.8 deaths per 100,000 people from 2000 to 2020, CNN reports. In 2020, more than 5,000 older adults died from an overdose.
Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids have had a big impact on the older population as well. Death rates from these substances increased 53% from 2019 to 2020 among people age 65 and over.
Another new CDC report found rates of alcohol-induced deaths among adults 65 and older rose more than 18% between 2019 and 2020. According to the report, more than 11,000 adults 65 and older died from alcohol-induced causes.
In 2020, alcohol-induced death rates were over three times higher among men ages 65-74 than among women, and four times higher among men ages 75 and over than among women of that age.