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There Are Now More Overdose Deaths In Major Cities Than In Rural Areas

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Claire Smith Contributor

More overdose deaths occurred in major cities than in rural areas for the first time in over a decade, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2016, there were 20 overdose deaths for every 100,000 people in urban areas, while rural areas saw 18.7 deaths per 100,000 people, the Associated Press reports.

In 2017, urban areas saw 22 overdose deaths per 100,000, while rural areas saw 18. (RELATED: CBP Seizes Hundreds Of Pounds Of Drugs In Single Weekend)

2017 was one of the worst years for overdose deaths in the United States, according to the CDC report.

From 2014 to 2017, urban overdose deaths spiked 8% faster than rural overdose deaths.

Although female overdose deaths were reported more in rural areas, males still saw 5.6 more deaths than females per 100,000 people in urban areas.

Overdose deaths were the highest among those aged 25-44 in both areas. (RELATED: Mass Drug Overdose Shows Dangerous Fentanyl Is Spreading Throughout The Country, Police Chief Says)

The main drug responsible for the overdose deaths in both urban and rural areas was synthetic opioids, followed by heroin for urban areas and natural and semisynthetic opioids for rural areas, the report states.

Dr. Daniel Ciccarone told the Associated Press that many fentanyl users start with opioids and then make the shift to heroin and then fentanyl. He followed by stating that opioids are available in both rural and urban areas, whereas drugs like fentanyl and heroin have a larger presence in urban areas.

Reports for 2018 have not yet been released but are expected later this year, the Associated Press reports.