America’s Drug Overdose Epidemic: Putting Data to Action
Drug Overdoses in the United States
The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States introduces new risks to Americans impacted by substance use disorder, as well as a series of new challenges related to treatment and recovery.
Drug overdose deaths continue to impact communities across the United States. Drug overdose deaths are still high:
- From 1999 to 2018, over 750,000 people died from a drug overdose.
- In 2018, almost 70,000 people died from drug overdoses.
- It was a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States.
- Two out of three overdose deaths involved an opioid like prescription opioids, heroin, or synthetic opioids (like fentanyl).
CDC’s Work to Address the Opioid Crisis
CDC is committed to preventing opioid misuse, overdoses, and deaths through five key strategies:
Learn more about CDC’s prevention strategies: CDC’s Response to the Opioid Overdose Epidemic.
Building State, Local, and Tribal Capacity
In September 2019, CDC began a 3-year funding agreement called Overdose Data to Action (OD2A). OD2A supports recipients in collecting in-depth data on drug overdoses, and to use those data to inform prevention and public health response efforts. Funded recipients include state, territorial, county, and city health departments. OD2A builds on the successes of previous programs, and as it moves into another year of funding, it continues to address the evolving drug crisis.
Not all overdoses have to end in death. Everyone has a role to play.
- Learn about the risks of opioids.
- Learn about naloxone, its availability, and how to use it.
- Help people struggling with opioid use disorder to find the right care and treatment.
Learn more about recognizing and reversing overdoses on CDC’s Overdose Prevention webpage.
- Overdose Data to Action (OD2A)
- Opioid Overdose: Information for the Public, Patients, and Providers
- Opioid Overdose Tip Card pdf icon[PDF – 1.6 MB]
- CDC’s Rx Awareness Campaign
- CDC’s Response to the Opioid Overdose Epidemic
- COVID-19 Questions and Answers: For People Who Use Drugs or Have Substance Use Disorder
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a great resource to share with someone who may have a substance use disorder. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4537) or check out SAMHSA’s Behavioral Treatment Services Locatorexternal icon.