Mixing Cocaine and Opioids is Causing More OD Deaths

A new study has revealed that more people are overdosing on cocaine when they mix it with another drug like meth. Deaths of drug users who have both opioids and cocaine in their systems are far outpacing deaths from users who only use cocaine.

The Study on Cocaine and Meth Deaths

75.5% of all cocaine-related deaths also involved one or more opioids in 2019. More people who use cocaine and opioids together are dying than those who use other stimulants, such as methamphetamine. Just 54% of all meth-related deaths in 2019 also involved opioids, a starkly different number than when it comes to cocaine.

Dependending on the region, deaths for both drugs varied greatly. Presumably, this is due to the availability or popularity of one drug versus another. For example,  deaths from cocaine and opioids accounted for more than 83% of all cocaine-related deaths in the Northeast, but just 63% in the West. However in the West, there were also more deaths from meth and opioids.

No matter what, each death is tragic. It’s not clear how many of these deaths were accidentally drug combinations. There has been an increase in deaths from fentanyl, especially when it is combined with drug unbenknonst to the user. Many of these incidents end up being fatal overdoses.

Overdoses at Record Highs

According to the study’s author, there are record numbers of overdoses in the times before and during the pandemic. 88,000 people died from a drug overdose between August 2019 and August 2020.

Lindsey Vuolo, vice president of health law and policy with the Center on Addiction in New York City, says “That equates to more than 240 people each day, and a 26.8% increase from the prior year.”

There are still not enough resources for people in need of help for their substance use disordere. As the government begins to move forward into a new era, hopefully there will be robust funding for addiction recovery services that America is desperately in need of.  

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