Drug Overdose Deaths Hit Record High


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 70,237 people in the United States died of drug overdoses in 2017. The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths increased from 6.1 per 100,000 standard population in 1999 to 21.7 in 2017. Drug overdose ranks as the leading cause of death for adults under age 55.

The CDC also reports that Fentanyl replaced Heroin as the deadliest drug. Fatalities involving Fentanyl increased by more than 45% in 2017.

Other key findings from the CDC Data include:

  • The drug overdose death rate in 2017 was 9.6% higher than in 2016.
  • Heroin overdose death rates were seven times higher in 2017 than in 1999.
  • Almost 14,000 Americans died from a cocaine-related overdose in 2017.
  • Overdose rates were significantly higher for males than for females.
  • West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC recorded the highest drug overdose death rates in 2017.
  • Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska experienced the lowest drug overdose death rates in 2017.

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