Shatterproof Calls for Action in Response to Inaccurate Drug Death Reporting Rates

WASHINGTON, DC – A recent study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that there are geographic differences among states reporting drug overdose deaths, with some states over-reporting rates and many states under-reporting. Shatterproof Founder and CEO Gary Mendell released the following statement on the report:

“The fact that national opioid and heroin mortality rates are 22-24 percent higher than reported rates is incredibly alarming. It is impossible to adequately address a problem if the scale of it is unknown.

“When running a business, good decisions cannot be made without current, accurate data. The same should be the case for making policy. Whether this means accurately reporting the cause of deaths on death certificates or publishing current data, it is incumbent upon all government agencies – local, state and federal – to collect and provide high-quality data to enact stronger, evidence-based policies.

“States must act NOW to ensure they are accurately reporting drug overdose deaths. It is unacceptable that this rate continues to rise without a clear picture of the true scale of the problem.”

About Gary Mendell:

Gary Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof. He founded Shatterproof to spare others the tragedy his family suffered with the loss of his son Brian to addiction in 2011. Mr. Mendell is an experienced businessman and CEO who founded HEI Hotels & Resorts and is the former president of Starwood Lodging Trust.

About Shatterproof:

Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastation the disease of addiction causes families. Shatterproof works to end the stigma and foster a community of support, providing evidence-based resources to support prevention, treatment and recovery. Shatterproof advocates for changes in policy at the federal and state level and supports the development and implementation of evidence-based solutions for substance use disorders.