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The paper used data from the CDC’s WONDER database, which tracks mortality data and causes of death in the U.S. Researchers first isolated all opioid-related deaths recorded between 2001 and 2016 (335,123 in all), then broke those down by age groups and years.
In 2016, opioids were involved in 28,496 deaths, the study says. More than 8,400 of these occurred among adults between the ages of 25 and 34, a number high enough to mean that 20% of all deaths in this age group in 2016 involved opioids.
Among those between the ages of 15 and 24, the report adds, the nearly 3,000 opioid-related deaths recorded in 2016 accounted for 12.4% of deaths in this demographic.
While opioid-related deaths were common among older age groups as well — there were about 6,700 among adults ages 35 and 44, more than 5,600 among adults 45 to 54, more than 3,800 among adults 55 to 64 and around 800 among adults older than 65 — they accounted for a smaller proportion of deaths in these populations.