During the same period, the number of “unintentional poisonings” among Black men and women rose by 15 to 20 percent. However, the number of poisonings among White men and women rapidly increased by 60 to 75 percent. Study authors believe this upturn can be tied to the use of recreational drugs and painkiller abuse, especially among Whites ages 20 to 54.
“Our results are certainly consistent with the nationwide increase in painkiller abuse and overdose mortality in recent years…and suggest that this phenomenon is currently affecting Whites to a greater degree than Blacks,” explained Dr. Sam Harper, an author of the study and assistant professor of epidemiology, biostatistics, and occupational health at McGill University in Montreal.
Despite the good news of closing of this once wide gap, study authors are disappointed to attribute it to an increase in deaths among Whites.