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Men died of overdose at 2-3 times greater a rate than women in the U.S. in 2020-2021

National data show need for more research into the factors underlying differences in sex-based vulnerability to drug use

Men were significantly more vulnerable than women to overdose deaths involving opioid and stimulant drugs in 2020-2021, according to a new study analyzing death records data from across the United States. The study found that men had a 2–3 times greater rate of overdose mortality from opioids (like fentanyl and heroin) and psychostimulants (like methamphetamine and cocaine). While it has been known that men use drugs at higher rates than women, the researchers found that this alone does not explain the gap in overdose deaths, noting that biological, behavioral, and social factors likely combined to increase the mortality risk for men.


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