CDC's Efforts to Prevent Opioid Overdoses and Other Opioid-Related Harms
Drug overdoses have dramatically increased over the last two decades, with deaths increasing more than four times between 1999 and 2019.
- In 2019, nearly 71,000 people died from drug overdoses, making it a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States.
- Of those deaths, over 70 percent involved a prescription or illicit opioid.
- The rate of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone in 2019 was 11 times the rate in 2013.
One of CDC’s priorities is raising awareness about the risks of prescription opioid misuse with consumers. To accomplish this, CDC launched the Rx Awareness communication campaign that features testimonials from people recovering from opioid use disorder and people who have lost loved ones to opioid overdose. The goal of the campaign is to educate consumers about the risks of prescription opioids and the importance of discussing safer and more effective pain management with their healthcare providers. CDC is also promoting awareness of risks associated with non-medical use of opioids, factors that increase risks (such as fentanyl in the local drug supply), and approaches to reduce risks.
Programs across CDC are working to prevent opioid overdoses and other opioid-related harms, including opioid use disorder, hepatitis and HIV infections, and neonatal abstinence syndrome.
CDC is committed to preventing opioid misuse, overdose, and deaths.