Drug Overdose Deaths In Nebraska Decrease 11%

(Data: CDC, Graphic: Tableau)
July 22, 2019 - 10:30am

Reported drug overdose deaths in Nebraska decreased almost 11% last year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released last week.


The 10.8% decrease in Nebraska overdose deaths compares to a nationwide decrease of 4.2%..

University of Nebraska Researcher Patrick Habecker, though, said a percentage change isn’t necessarily representative of the problem.

"It’s always really tricky to do these one year trends, particularly in Nebraska because we have so few deaths," Habecker said.

One hundred forty Nebraskans died from a drug overdose in 2018, 17 fewer deaths than the year before.

That’s a pretty small number compared to neighboring Missouri, for example, which had more than 1,600 deaths last year.

National data shows most deaths are from opioids. The CDC hasn’t released specific data for Nebraska yet, but Habecker said other data shows Nebraskans are more likely to use stimulants like methamphetamine.

"It’s not to say that we don’t have overdose deaths from opioids, most likely fentanyl and heroin," Habecker said. "But we also probably have a good share of stimulant overdose deaths as well, attributable probably to methamphetamine."

Several states had more drug overdose deaths. Neighboring Kansas saw an increase of about 5%, and Missouri had one of the biggest increases in the country with 17% more deaths in 2018.

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