Drug overdose deaths have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States.
Each day in the United States, over 120 people die as a result of a drug overdose. The number of drug poisoning deaths in 2013, the latest year for which data is available, involving opioid analgesics is substantial and outpaces the number of deaths for cocaine and heroin combined. (See Table 1.)
Deaths in St. Louis metropolitan area from heroin/opiates overdoses ballooned from 122 in 2007 to 386 in 2014, a 216 percent increase.
There were 386 confirmed heroin/opiates overdose deaths in 2014 (See chart below.) St. Louis City experienced 138 heroin/opiates overdose deaths, St. Louis County experienced 151, St. Charles County with 41, Jefferson County with 41, and Franklin County experienced 15.
Source: Greater St. Louis Area Medical Examiners Offices
Over 50% of the heroin overdose deaths in each of these areas were under the age of 40. In some of these areas, over 50% of the heroin overdose deaths were under the age of 30. One area experienced multiple heroin overdose deaths of victims under the age of 20, including a 17 year old high school junior.