Category Archives: Did You Know

Did You Know: Drug Poisoning by Gender

A couple of weeks ago we viewed the statistics compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics on drug poisoning mortality in the United States between 2002-2014. Alabama has seen a large growth in the number of mortalities due to drug poisoning over the past 15 years.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 2.37.46 PM

We unpacked how we have seen this statistic play out in the lives of the men and women we have worked with over the years. We’ve seen the people we work with change from a very specific demographic to a widespread issue that touches lives in all areas across our city. Another statistic that the graph highlighted was a breakdown of of drug poisoning deaths by age, sex, and race.

Did you know that in the United States (from 2002-2014) males have had significantly more drug-related deaths than women? In 2002 males suffered a total of 15,028 deaths whereas women had 8,490 deaths. By 2014 the numbers had increased by at least 10,000 for both sexes: males suffered a total of 28,812 deaths where women had 18,243.

Why is there such a disparity between the genders when it comes to drug overdoses? According to The National Institute On Drug Abuse, males are more likely to have the opportunity to use drugs than females. It’s truly that simple. Opportunity is the only difference between the genders when it comes to drug abuse and overdoses. Once a male or female is introduced to drugs, their chances of continued use and eventual overdose are similar.

Do you agree with The National Institute on Drug Abuse? Do you believe it simply boils down to a matter of opportunity? If not, why do you think males are more likely to abuse drugs and suffer a drug overdose? If you do agree, why do you think males have so much more opportunity to use drugs? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Next time, we will look at which age range has the highest mortality rate and why.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Did You Know

Did You Know: Drug Poisoning in Alabama

A very common but devastating outcome of significant drug use is drug poisoning (the scientific name for a drug overdose). Sometimes a drug overdose can cause death but other times it causes a state of unconsciousness that the user may come out of.

This detailed map on drug poisoning mortality shows the rates in which people in the United States have experienced drug overdose deaths based on race, geographic location, and age through 2002-2014. [Full map found at http://blogs.cdc.gov/nchs-data-visualization/drug-poisoning-mortality/]

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.09.22 AM

Did you know that in 2002, the state of Alabama experienced one of the lowest amounts of calculated deaths, which was about 5 per 100,000 people? In 2014, less than 15 years later, that number rose to an average 15 deaths per 100,000 residents. Jefferson County was found to have one of the highest death rates in our state. We have been able to see this statistic first hand over the past few years.

What we have realized is that the city of Birmingham is seeing a drastic shift in drug usage and location. Typically, people would assume to find drugs in inner city Birmingham, but in recent years we have consistently worked with addicts from Over the Mountain areas such as Mountain Brook, Homewood, Hoover, Pelham and Vestavia. Now, the drug scene is more spread out than ever throughout our city and we cannot ignore this fact. We’ve seen that drug use is not always based off of where you grow up or how you grow up- it’s because all people are broken and in search of healing; some of our pursuits of healing just manifest themselves in more outwardly destructive ways.

Over the next few weeks we will further dig into the demographics behind drug use in our city and how it has affected the men and women we’re working with.

Leave a comment

Filed under Did You Know