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Opioid overdoses continue to grow in Missouri


Drug overdose deaths have been on the rise in Missouri since 2018, according to data on the Missouri Health and Senior Service website.

The drug overdose rate was 35.07 for every 100,000 people in 2021, the latest year with available data. That rate was 26.25 in 2018.

Heroin and prescription opioids once drove the epidemic, but strong non-heroin opioids such fentanyl have increasingly caused more deaths, the data show. Opioids include heroin, fentanyl, methadone, morphine, oxycodone and other prescription and non-prescription pain relievers.

Drug overdoses were the No. 1 leading cause of death among adult Missourians between the ages of 18 and 44.

In 2021, there were 2,163 overdose deaths in the state, with 1,493 of those deaths being attributed to non-heroin opioids.

A non-heroin opioid overdose is an opioid-involved death in which heroin was not present. These deaths can include synthetic opioids such as fentanyl as well as prescription opioids such as oxycodone.

The top 10 counties with the highest non-heroin opioid overdose death rate are:

1.) St. Louis County

2.) Dent

3.) Crawford

4.) Washington

5.) Knox

6.) St. Francois

7.) Phelps

8.) Warren

9.) Jefferson

10.) Texas

In 2021, the most at-risk age group was 25 to 34.

Boone County reported 33 deaths involving non-opioids in 2021. That is 17.76 people for every 100,000.

Resources for people struggling with opioid addiction are available by calling or texting 988 or chatting here.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

Article Topic Follows: News

Ethan Heinz


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