In the past four years, the number of injury deaths increased significantly in 17 states, remained stable in 24 states and decreased in nine states, according to The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report, by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
The data also includes a report card of 10 key indicators of leading evidence-based strategies that help reduce injuries and violence. The indicators were developed in consultation with top injury prevention experts from the Safe States Alliance and the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR).
Drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury deaths in the United States, at nearly 44,000 per year. These deaths have more than doubled in the past 14 years, and half of them are related to prescription drugs (22,000 per year). Overdose deaths now exceed motor vehicle-related deaths in 36 states and Washington, D.C. And, in the past four years, drug overdose death rates have significantly increased in 26 states and Washington, D.C. and decreased in six.
Twenty-nine states and Washington, D.C. scored a five or lower out of the 10 key injury-prevention indicators. New York received the highest score of nine out of a possible 10, while four states scored the lowest, Florida, Iowa, Missouri and Montana, with two out of 10.
Key report findings include:
Drug abuse: More than 2 million Americans misuse prescription drugs. The prescription drug epidemic is also contributing to an increase in heroin use; the number of new heroin users has doubled in the past seven years.
Motor vehicle deaths: Rates have declined 25 percent in the past decade (to 33,000 per year).
Homicides: Rates have dropped 42 percent in the past 20 years (to 16,000 per year). The rate of Black male youth (ages 10 to 24) homicide victims is 10 times higher than for the overall population. One in three female homicide victims is killed by an intimate partner.
Suicides: Rates have remained stable for the past 20 years (41,000 per year). More than one million adults attempt suicide and 17 percent of teens seriously consider suicide each year. Seventy percent of suicides deaths are among white males.
Falls: One in three Americans over the age of 64 experiences a serious fall each year, falls are the most common nonfatal injuries.
The report is at http://healthyamericans.org/reports/injuryprevention15/