PURPOSE

This report is to provide information on drug-related mortality among Arizona residents. The data for 1997 are placed in a temporal context by comparison with the data for the preceding ten years.

METHODS AND SOURCES

Data on the number and characteristics of drug-related deaths among Arizona residents were obtained from the death certificates filed with the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Population denominators for Arizona residents, used to calculate rates, are projections from the Population Statistics Unit in the Arizona Department of Economic Security (data for 1987-1989 and 1993-1997) and the U.S. Census Bureau (data for 1990 and ethnic group data for 1997). Detailed population data by gender, age and county were unavailable for 1991-1992. In order to obtain the population denominators for these two years, the 1990 percentages of population breakdowns (or census shares) were applied to 1991 and 1992 total state or county population estimates published by the DES.

In this report, drug-related fatalities are classified in terms of circumstances and conditions resulting in death such as:

Whenever possible, drug-related deaths are classified also in terms of type of drug causing fatal poisoning, such as cocaine, morphine, barbiturates, non-barbiturate sedatives and tranquilizers, antidepressants, hallucinogens, and psycho-stimulants, as well as other, mixed and unspecified drugs. A detailed cross-classification by these two dimensions of the ICD codes relevant to drug-related mortality is provided on the following table:
CLASSIFICATION OF ICD-9 CODES FOR UNDERLYING CAUSE OF DRUG-RELATED MORTALITY BY TYPE OF DRUG AND CIRCUMSTANCES AND CONDITIONS RESULTING IN DEATH.

Originally, this report was designed to provide data on poisoning by misuse of, abuse of, or dependence on selected substances other than alcohol and tobacco. Previous editions excluded poisoning by antibiotics, vaccines and non-psychoactive agents which primarily affect blood constituents, cardiovascular system, skeletal muscles or respiratory system. For comparability with national data, the definition of drug-related deaths was revised to include all categories of medications.

Data Organization

Tables 1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 12, 14, 16 describe drug-related mortality in the 1987-1997 period in terms of circumstances and conditions resulting in death. Tables 3, 4, 7, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19 describe drug-related mortality in terms of type of drug causing fatal poisoning. The differences in drug-related mortality are shown by such factors as ethnicity, gender, marital status, urban/rural region of residence, type of drug and age group.


Prepared and made Web-ready by José Jiménez,M.P.H., Senior Research Data Analyst, and Christopher K. Mrela, Ph.D., Assistant Registrar of Vital Statistics

Office of Epidemiology and Statistics
Bureau of Public Health Statistics
Arizona Department of Health Services
Phone: (602) 542-7333
FAX: (602) 542-2940

Date: 7/20/99