In an effort to more clearly discern and define which "drug-induced" deaths actually involve the use of illicit intoxicating substances, all of the codes indicated on the record and entity axis of each mortality record classed officially as drug-induced was evaluated and ranked using the criteria in the table below. For each death, the "most serious" drug identified as being involved in the death was the criteria for inclusion in each drug type classification. Click the links in the table to review the codes used to define the inclusion criteria for each categorization.
Note: the drug-induced deaths in which the most serious drug indicated is alcohol or tobacco is neither a tally of all such deaths, nor an indication of the total number of drug induced deaths in which those substances were involved.
|Definition of Drug Classification "Types" - 2003|
|Level 6||Clearly Illicit||The codes contained in the record and entity axis contain drug types that are clearly illicit. For example: heroin, cocaine, marijuana and LSD.|
|Level 5||Possibly Illicit||The codes contained in the record and entity axis contain drug types that are not clearly illicit but which may have been obtained through illicit channels or were being used in a potentially "abusive" manner. For example: sedatives, opioid pain relievers, and stimulants.|
|Level 4||Alcohol||The codes contained in the record and entity axis do not contain drug types that are clearly illicit or possibly licit drugs being used in an illicit manner, but do indicate the presence of alcohol. This is not a tally of all alcohol-induced deaths (20,687 in 2003) -- it is merely the number of drug-induced deaths in which alcohol was the most serious level of intoxicating substance indicated as being involved in the death.|
|Level 3||Tobacco||The codes contained in the record and entity axis do not contain drug types that are clearly illicit or possibly licit drugs being used in an illicit manner, and do not indicate the presence of alcohol, but do indicate the presence of tobacco. As with alcohol, this is not a tally of all tobacco related deaths, rather it acts as an indication that intoxicating substances were not involved in these particular deaths.|
|Level 2||Non-intoxicant||The codes contained in the record and entity axis contain drug types that are not typically used as intoxicating substances, although some of them may possess psychoactive properties. For example: anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, aspirin, and heart medications.|
|Level 1||Not Specified||The codes contained in the record and entity axis indicate the presence of some type of drug, but the actual drug name and/or substance class is not indicated.|
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