Overdose Rates Expected to Set Records

Deaths Related to Drug Overdoses Continue to Rise in the United States


Drug-involved overdose deaths continue to rise in the United States and are expected to set records this year. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, overdose death rates have grown exponentially over the past two decades. 

Drug Overdoses From 1999-2019

Studies show that in 1999 national drug-involved overdose deaths were under 20,000. By 2019, the death toll was 70,630. Men are substantially more likely to die from a drug overdose compared to women and the gap continues to widen. 

Around 2015, a sharp increase in the number of synthetic opioids other than methadone led to numerous deaths. This type of drug is primarily fentanyl and led to over 36,359 overdose deaths in 2019. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 70% of drug overdoses in 2019 involved an opioid. 

Concerns Over Fentanyl

Compared to other drugs, it is much easier to traffic fentanyl and similar opioids. Many drug users who obtain Fentanyl on the street have no idea how much they are taking. Some have even had other drugs laced with Fentanyl without knowing it. 

Fentanyl is an extremely dangerous drug. In recent years, the increase in overdoses is not linked to prescription fentanyl but rather to illicit fentanyl. It is often “mixed with or sold as heroin.” Counterfeit pills are believed to significantly contribute to the number of drug overdoses each year.

Getting Treatment

An addiction or reliance on drugs or alcohol is a common problem throughout the United States. Unfortunately, despite having a diagnosable condition, few people seek treatment. Today, there are more options than ever for treatment.