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Research Letter
January 20, 2021

Methamphetamine Overdose Deaths in the US by Sex and Race and Ethnicity

Author Affiliations
  • 1National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA Psychiatry. 2021;78(5):564-567. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.4321

US age-adjusted rates of drug overdose deaths involving methamphetamine increased nearly 5-fold during 2012-2018.1 Although addiction outcomes can be improved with sex-specific and culturally tailored prevention and treatment interventions, the extent to which fatalities differ as functions of sex and race and ethnicity has not been analyzed, to our knowledge.

This study used existing deidentified public health surveillance data and was exempt from institutional review board review in accordance with the Common Rule. Data were from National Vital Statistics System files for multiple causes of death. Drug overdose deaths were those assigned an underlying cause of death with International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision (ICD-10) codes (X40-X44 [unintentional], X60-X64 [suicide], X85 [homicide], and Y10-Y14 [undetermined intent]). Overdose deaths involving psychostimulants with abuse potential (predominantly corresponding to methamphetamine) were those with ICD-10 code T43.6.2

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