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CDC Report Finds Opioid Deaths May Be Underestimated

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that many instances of opioid-related deaths could be underreported. 


Dr. Victoria Hall, a CDC officer in Minnesota, and a team of researchers “examined death records from cases that involved unexplained deaths . . . [and] records of people over the age of twelve who had died of infectious diseases” to see if opioids played any part in the deaths (Burch, 2017). Out of the 1,676 cases that met the researchers’ criteria, fifty-nine (3.5 percent) had opioids involved, but none were “reported to the state’s opioid surveillance system because the autopsies were labeled as a different cause of death” (Burch, 2017). 


“Over half the cases that we found that were toxic or lethal were not counted in the system,” Dr. Hall stated. “It’s quite concerning, because it means that the [opioid] epidemic, which is already quite severe, could potentially be even worse,” she added (Burch, 2017). 


The opioid crisis is responsible for ninety-one deaths every day, and this research shows that the number could be even higher. 





Burch, K. (2017). Opioid epidemic may be underreported, CDC finds. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/opioid-epidemic-may-be-underreported-cdc-finds