On Tuesday the Spokane County Medical Examiner released its annual report for the year 2016. While homicide deaths, vehicular deaths and suicide deaths were down in 2016, drug overdose deaths in Spokane county have increased. According to the medical examiner's drug overdoses caused or contributed to 125 deaths in 2016. Methamphetamine contributed to 49 of those deaths. That's an increase of 20 over 2015.
Here are more highlights from the report:
Total autopsies for the Spokane County Medical Examiner increased 14% since 2014 and total Spokane County deaths reported to the Spokane County Medical Examiner increased 8 %
Accidental Drug Overdoses in 2016 in Spokane County totaled 115, an increase of 33 over 2015
The most common opioids listed as causing or contributing to accidental overdose were
- Oxycodone (in 17 deaths)
- Hydrocodone (in 16 deaths)
- Morphine (in 15 deaths)
- Methadone (in 15 deaths)
- Benzodiazepines (in 23 deaths) - though benzodiazepines are not opioids they are included with the opioids as national data which indicates that benzodiazepines are often seen in combination with opioids in prescription medication deaths.
Total Drug Overdose Deaths - in 2016 a total of 125 deaths had prescription/and or illicit drugs listed on the death certificate as causing or contributing to death. Of these 118 deaths had drugs listed as the primary cause of death.
Drug overdoses causing or contributing to 125 deaths:
9 deaths: suicide
1 death: undetermined accident vs. suicide
115 deaths: accidents
The most common illicit drugs causing or contributing to death were
- Methamphetamine (in 49 deaths, an increase of 20 over 2015)
- Heroin (in 25 deaths, an increase of 3 over 2015)
- Cocaine (in 3 deaths, a decrease of 2 from 2015)
Homicides in 2016 in Spokane County totaled 25, a decrease of 1 from 2015
Vehicular deaths in Spokane County in 2016 totaled 41, a decrease of 15 from 2015
Suicide deaths in Spokane County in 2016 totaled 91, a decrease of 7 from 2015
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report a rise in the U.S. suicide rate, key findings are as follows:
• From 1999 through 2014, the age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States increased 24%, from 10.5 to 13.0 per 100,000 population, with
the pace of increase greater after 2006.
• Suicide rates increased from 1999 through 2014 for both males and females and for all ages 10–74.
• The percent increase in suicide rates for females was greatest for those aged 10–14, and for males, those aged 45–64.
• The most frequent suicide method in 2014 for males involved the use of firearms (55.4%), while poisoning was the most frequent method
for females (34.1%).
• Percentages of suicides attributable to suffocation increased for both sexes between 1999 and 2014.
Here is a link to the original CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) report: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db241.pdf