Deaths Related to Drug Overdoses Decrease Overall While Deaths Related to Illicit Drugs Increase in 2013

July 31, 2014

Decatur, GA  – An analysis of autopsies performed by the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office in 152 counties, in which drug overdose was the cause of death or a significant contributing factor in the death has been completed.  The analysis revealed drug overdose deaths in 2013 were lower than the previous five years while the overdose deaths attributed to illicit drugs were higher than they have been during the same period.

 

Note: These statistics do NOT include autopsies performed by medical examiners in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, or Rockdale Counties.

 

Of the 630 drug overdose deaths in 2013, there were 461 deaths which involved prescription drugs only.  The analysis also showed that 106 drug overdose deaths in 2013 involved only illicit drugs and 63 deaths were attributed to a combination of both prescription and illicit drugs.

 

 

Deaths from:

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Rx Only

496

508

560

512

520

461

Illicit Drugs Only

95

86

101

82

94

106

Combination Rx and Illicit

47

76

68

70

72

63

Total Overdose Deaths

638

670

729

664

686

630

 

 

For overdose drug deaths in 2013, the drugs found through toxicology tests in the highest numbers were as follows:

 

Drug

Number

Alprazolam (For anxiety, Xanax)

211

Oxycodone (Narcotic Pain Reliever)

164

Hydrocodone (Narcotic Pain Reliever)

125

Methadone (Narcotic Pain Reliever)

118

Methamphetamine (Stimulant, Illicit)

86

Cocaine (Stimulant, Illicit)

62

Morphine (Narcotic Pain Reliever)

62

Fentanyl (Narcotic Pain Reliever)

47

Diphenhydramine (Antihistamine, Benadryl)

54

Citalopram (For anxiety, Celexa)

45

 

These are the top 10 of the 83 different drugs found in toxicology tests run on the 630 total overdose deaths.  There were on average 2.69 drugs found for each death (1,693 instances of the 83 different drugs found in the 630 deaths). 

For all drug deaths, the numbers per age range for 2013 were as follows:

Age

Number of Deaths

Younger than 15

0

15-24

42

25-34

119

35-44

153

45-54

179

55-64

112

Older than 64

25

 

A breakdown by race and sex for 2013 for all drug overdose deaths follows:

Race

Number of Deaths

Percentage

White

571

90.63%

Black

56

8.89%

Asian

0

0.00%

Indian

3

0.48%

 

 

Gender

Number of Deaths

Percentage

Male

357

56.7%

Female

273

43.3%

 

A breakdown on the manner of death for 2013 drug overdose deaths follows:

Manner of Death

Number of Deaths

Percentage

Accidental

549

87.1%

Suicide

72

11.4%

Undetermined

9

1.4%

 

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Please note: The GBI does not have a county by county breakdown of these statistics.

Contact Information: 
Sherry Lang 404-270-8330