39 Drug Overdose Death Rates

Drug overdose is a serious problem that has been affecting communities all over the world. According to recent studies, there has been a significant increase in drug overdose deaths in the past decade.

Published On

November 23, 2023

Drug overdose is a serious problem that has been affecting communities all over the world. According to recent studies, there has been a significant increase in drug overdose deaths in the past decade. In this article, we will be discussing 37 drug overdose death rates, which will provide insight into the severity of this issue.

Top 10 Key Drug Overdose Death Statistics

  1. In 2019, there were an estimated 70,630 drug overdose deaths in the United States.
  2. Synthetic opioids (excluding methadone) were involved in 69.5% of all opioid-involved overdose deaths in 2019.
  3. In 2019, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone was 11.4 per 100,000.
  4. The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine increased from 1.4 per 100,000 in 1999 to a peak of 5.7 per 100,000 in 2006 and decreased to 3.8 per 100,000 in 2019.
  5. In the United States, West Virginia had the highest age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving opioids in 2019 with a rate of about 49.6 deaths per 100,000 population.
  6. Among men aged ≥25 years, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone increased from about one death per 100,000 men in each year during the period from at least as early as 1999 through 2008 to over 14 deaths per 100,000 men during both 2017 and 2018.
  7. In Canada, there were more than 16 apparent opioid-related overdoses deaths every day in March and April this year which is almost double compared to last year's statistics for the same months.
  8. The number of people who died from overdosing on drugs has risen steadily every year since records began back in the early nineties.
  9. A recent study found that between July and September last year there was a significant increase (119%) in suspected drug-related fatalities where benzodiazepines were present when compared with January-March data for that same year period.
  10. An estimated one in eight adults (12.7%) who responded to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) in 2019 had used benzodiazepines in the past year.

Drug Overdose Death Rates Per State

  1. In Ohio, there were 4,293 drug overdose deaths in 2020.
  2. Pennsylvania had 5,172 drug overdose deaths in 2020.
  3. Florida had a total of 7,048 drug overdose deaths in 2020.
  4. In California, there were 5,544 drug overdose deaths in 2019.
  5. New York had a total of 3,752 drug overdose deaths in 2019.
  6. Texas had a total of 3,068 drug overdose deaths in 2019.
  7. Michigan reported a total of 2,690 drug overdose deaths in the year ending September of 2020.

Opioid Overdose Death Rate

  • In 2019, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving natural and semi-synthetic opioids was 3.0 per 100,000.
  • Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have been decreasing since 2011, but still accounted for over 14,000 deaths in 2019.
  • The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving heroin was 4.5 per 100,000 in 2019.
  • Methadone was involved in 2,275 overdose deaths in the United States in 2019.
  • From July to September of last year, there was a significant increase (35%) in suspected drug-related fatalities where fentanyl was present compared with the previous quarter.
  • In Canada, British Columbia has reported the highest number of illicit drug toxicity deaths from January to October this year with a total of 1,202 deaths.
  • The opioid crisis is not limited to North America alone; in Europe, between 2013 and 2018 there were more than 53,000 overdose deaths related to opioids.

Heroin Overdose Death Rates

  • In 2019, there were 14,019 deaths involving heroin in the United States.
  • The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving heroin was 4.5 per 100,000 in 2019.
  • Between 1999 and 2018, nearly 450,000 people died from an opioid-related overdose in the United States; of these deaths, over 68% involved a prescription or illicit opioid such as heroin.
  • Heroin-involved overdose death rates increased significantly for all gender and age groups between 2007 and 2017.
  • In Canada, British Columbia has reported the highest number of illicit drug toxicity deaths from January to October this year with a total of 1,202 deaths; fentanyl and heroin were found in more than half of these deaths.
  • According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), there were around 8,200 overdose deaths related to opioids in Europe in 2018; approximately three-quarters (74%) of these deaths involved heroin or other opioids used non-medically.

Stimulants Overdose Death Rates

  • In 2019, there were an estimated 16,167 deaths involving stimulants in the United States.
  • The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving psychostimulants with misuse potential was 4.5 per 100,000 in 2019.
  • Between 2010 and 2018, the number of deaths involving cocaine increased by more than two-fold in the United States.
  • In Canada, British Columbia has reported a significant increase in overdose deaths involving stimulants from January to October this year with a total of 738 deaths.
  • According to a recent study conducted by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), there has been an increase in cocaine-related hospital admissions and overdoses across Europe since 2016.
  • Methamphetamine-involved overdose death rates have been steadily increasing since at least as early as 2005 among both men and women aged ≥15 years in the United States.
  • In Australia, methamphetamine contributed to more drug-induced deaths than any other substance between 2016 and 2017; there were a total of 220 methamphetamine-related deaths during this period.

Cocaine Overdose Death Rates

  • Cocaine-involved overdose deaths increased significantly for all gender and age groups between 2000 and 2006 before decreasing to 3.8 per 100,000 in 2019.
  • In the United States, there were an estimated 16,067 deaths involving cocaine in 2019.
  • The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine was highest among adults aged 35-44 years old with a rate of about 7.4 deaths per 100,000 population.
  • Between January and September of this year, there were over 1,000 apparent opioid-related deaths in British Columbia; cocaine was detected in nearly one-third of these cases.
  • According to a recent study conducted by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), there has been an increase in cocaine use across Europe since at least as early as 2010.
  • In Australia, cocaine-related deaths have more than tripled between 2012 and 2019 from just nine to thirty-three deaths respectively.
  • In Canada, Ontario has reported a significant increase in overdose deaths involving cocaine from January to October this year with a total of 697 deaths compared to last year's same period data which recorded only 433 such fatalities.

Drug Overdose Deaths Worldwide

  • In Australia, opioids were responsible for the highest number of drug-induced deaths in 2019 with a total of 1,536 deaths.
  • The United Kingdom had the highest rate of drug-related deaths in Europe in 2019 with an age-standardized rate of 60.3 deaths per million population.
  • In 2018, there were an estimated 53,000 opioid overdose deaths globally.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were approximately 585,000 drug use disorder-related deaths worldwide in 2017.
  • In Brazil, there were over 23,000 drug overdose deaths in 2019; this was a significant increase from the previous year's statistics which recorded around 17,400 such fatalities.
  • Mexico has also seen a significant increase in drug overdose deaths over the past few years; according to official data released by the Mexican government, there were over 36,000 drug-related fatalities in the country in 2018 alone.
  • Russia has one of the highest rates of drug-related deaths in Europe with an estimated 30.6 deaths per million population reported in 2018.
  • In India, there were over 4.6 lakh cases related to drugs and psychotropic substances registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act between April 2020 and March this year.

Drug Overdose Death Rate by Age

  • In 2019, the highest rate of drug overdose deaths was among adults aged 25-34 years old with a rate of about 29.2 deaths per 100,000 population.
  • The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines was highest among adults aged 55-64 years old with a rate of about 6.8 deaths per 100,000 population in 2019.
  • Adults aged 45-54 years old had the highest age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving prescription opioids in 2019 with a rate of about 11.5 deaths per 100,000 population.
  • The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving heroin was highest among adults aged 35-44 years old with a rate of about 10.0 deaths per 100,000 population in 2019.
  • In Canada, the highest number of opioid-related overdose deaths occurred among individuals aged between 30 and 39 years old from January to October this year with a total of 654 fatalities.
  • Adults aged ≥65 years had the lowest age-adjusted rates of drug overdose deaths in the United States in both 1999 and 2019; however, this group experienced the greatest percentage increase over time (from 0.4 to 2.7).

Drug Overdose Death Rate by Gender

  • In 2019, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving opioids was higher among males (17.6 per 100,000) than females (9.2 per 100,000).
  • The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone was higher among males (13.1 per 100,000) than females (5.7 per 100,000) in 2019.
  • Among adults aged ≥25 years, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine was higher among males (4.8 per 100,000) than females (1.7 per 100,000) in 2019.
  • The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving psychostimulants with misuse potential was higher among males (5.8 per 100,000) than females (3.3 per 100,000) in the United States in 2019.
  • Males had a higher age-adjusted death rate involving heroin compared to females in Canada in both 2018 and 2019 with rates of about 0.035 and 0.026 respectively.
  • In Brazil, there were more male drug overdose deaths than female in total; however, the percentage increase from the previous year's statistics was greater for female fatalities at around 34% compared to male fatalities which increased by around 20%.
  • According to official data released by the Mexican government for 2018 alone, males had a significantly higher number of drug-related fatalities compared to females; there were over 24 thousand male deaths compared to just over 12 thousand female deaths.

These statistics show that drug overdose deaths are a global issue that affects countries all over the world. It is important to address this problem and provide support to those who are struggling with drug addiction.

Conclusion

Drug overdose deaths have become a significant public health issue worldwide, affecting people from all age groups and genders. The statistics presented in this article highlight the severity of the problem and the need for immediate action to address it. Governments and healthcare organizations must work together to provide better access to addiction treatment services, improve education on drug misuse prevention, and increase resources for harm reduction initiatives.

It is crucial to prioritize efforts towards reducing drug overdose deaths and saving lives. By doing so, we can help individuals struggling with addiction and their families, reduce the burden on healthcare systems, and create healthier communities.

Sources:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)
  • The World Health Organization (WHO)

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