Document Detail

Unintentional methadone-related overdose death in New Mexico (USA) and implications for surveillance, 1998-2002.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15679747     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
AIMS: To determine death rates from methadone over time, to characterize methadone-related death and to discuss public health surveillance of methadone-related death. DESIGN: We analyzed medical examiner data for all unintentional drug overdose deaths in New Mexico, USA, between 1998 and 2002. MEASUREMENTS: Age-adjusted death rates for methadone-related death, logistic regression models for likelihood of methadone-related death among all unintentional drug overdose deaths and bivariate comparisons within methadone-related death. FINDINGS: Of 1120 drug overdose deaths during this period, there were 143 (12.8%) methadone-related deaths; the death rate decreased over the time period, averaging 1.6 per 100,000. Of 143 methadone-related deaths, 22.4% were due to methadone alone, 23.8% were due to methadone/prescription drugs (no illicit drugs), 50.3% were due to methadone/illicit drugs and 3.5% were due to methadone/alcohol. These groups were significantly different in demographics, health history and circumstances of death. Of 79 decedents (55.2%) with a known source of methadone, 68 obtained methadone through a physician prescription (31 for methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), 27 for managing pain and 10 had unknown reason for prescription). CONCLUSIONS: Methadone-related death rates and the proportion of methadone-related death among all drug overdose deaths decreased in New Mexico from 1998 to 2002. It is important for surveillance of methadone-related death to assess multiple drug causes, not just underlying cause. Also, methadone for pain management must be examined alongside MMT and when possible, methadone co-intoxication should be described in the context of other drugs causing death.
Nina Shah; Sarah L Lathrop; Michael G Landen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Addiction (Abingdon, England)     Volume:  100     ISSN:  0965-2140     ISO Abbreviation:  Addiction     Publication Date:  2005 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-01-31     Completed Date:  2005-06-09     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9304118     Medline TA:  Addiction     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  176-88     Citation Subset:  IM    
Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health, Santa Fe, NM 87502-6110, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cause of Death
Methadone / poisoning*
Narcotics / poisoning*
New Mexico / epidemiology
Overdose / mortality
Survival Rate
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Narcotics; 76-99-3/Methadone

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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