Drug Overdose Death Data
In 2016, 63,632 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. The age-adjusted rate of overdose deaths increased significantly by 21.5% from 2015 (16.3 (per 100,000) to 2016 (19.8 per 100,000). Opioids—prescription and illicit—are currently the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 42,249 overdose deaths in 2016 (66.4% of all drug overdose deaths).
In 2016, the states with the highest rates of death due to drug overdose were West Virginia (52.0 per 100,000), Ohio (39.1 per 100,000), New Hampshire (39.0 per 100,000), the District of Columbia (38.8 per 100,000), and Pennsylvania (37.9 per 100,000).1
Significant increases in drug overdose death rates from 2015 to 2016 were seen in the Northeast, Midwest, and South Census Regions. States with statistically significant increases in drug overdose death rates included Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. 2
|State||2010 rate||2016 rate|
|District of Columbia||12.9||38.8|
* Rates shown are the number of deaths per 100,000 population. Age-adjusted death rates were calculated by applying age-specific death rates to the 2000 U.S standard population age distribution.
† Deaths are classified using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD–10). Drug overdose deaths are identified using underlying cause-of-death codes X40–X44, X60–X64, X85, and Y10–Y14.
§ Joinpoint regression examining changes in trends from 2010 to 2016 indicated that 34 states had significant increases during the timeframe, or periods of increasing rates and stable rates during the timeframe (Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin). In two states, Florida and South Carolina, decreases were followed by increases, although the decrease was not statistically significant in South Carolina. In Kansas, a significant change in trend was observed in 2013, from increasing trend to decreasing trend, although the individual trends were non-significant due to small sample size. All remaining states had stable trends during this time.
Additional Data Sources
National Vital Statistics System presents provisional counts for drug overdose deaths occurring within the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The counts represent the number of reported deaths due to drug overdose occurring in the 12-month periods ending in the month indicated.
CDC’s WISQARS™ (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) is an interactive, online database that provides fatal and nonfatal injury, violent death, and cost of injury data from a variety of trusted sources.
CDC’s WONDER (Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research) an easy-to-use, menu-driven system that makes the information resources of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) available to public health professionals and the public at large. It provides access to a wide array of public health information.
- CDC MMWR: Increases and Geographic Variations in Overdose Deaths Involving Opioids, Cocaine, and Psychostimulants with Abuse Potential – United States, 2015-2016
- CDC MMWR: Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2010–2015
- CDC MMWR: Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths – United States, 2000 to 2014
- NCHS Data Brief: Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999-2016
- NCHS Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts
- CDC Data & Statistics
- Hedegaard H, Warner M, Miniño AM. Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999–2016. NCHS Data Brief, no 294. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.
- Multiple Cause of Death 1999–2016 on CDC Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (CDC WONDER). Atlanta, GA: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics. 2017. Available at http://wonder.cdc.gov.