By Kelly Young
Rates of drug overdose deaths in cities have overtaken those in rural areas, according to new data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
From 2007 through 2015, rural areas led urban areas in overdose deaths. But then in 2016 and 2017, the age-adjusted drug rate of drug overdose deaths was higher in cities than in rural areas (22 vs. 20 per 100,000 in 2017).
In 2017, the overdose death rate for females was still higher in rural counties, compared with urban counties (15.5 vs. 14.2 per 100,000). Urban areas had higher rates of death related to heroin, synthetic opioids besides methadone (e.g., fentanyl), and cocaine, while rural areas had more overdose deaths involving natural and semisynthetic opioids and psychostimulants like methamphetamine.