The increase in mortality related to opioid analgesics across all demographic categories is a serious public health threat in New York state, as it is in the rest of the nation. Statewide efforts are needed to prevent the abuse of prescription medications. As in the United States as a whole, deaths involving opioid analgesics in New York state have dramatically increased during the last decade, from 179 deaths (0.93 per 100,000) in 2003 to 883 (4.51 per 100,000) in 2012. Rates of deaths involving opioid analgesics increased among all groups examined and were consistently highest among men, whites, those ages 45 to 64 years, and Medicaid enrollees. Multiple drug involvement is characteristic of these deaths. In 2012, 70.7% of deaths involving opioid analgesics also involved at least one other drug, most frequently a benzodiazepine.
(Source: CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, April 16, 2015)