Daily Brief: 2017.2.27


Overdose death rates 1999 - 2015

A new report, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that one in four drug overdoses in 2015 was related to heroin. This was triple the percentage reported on 2010. Furthermore, there was also a significant increase in deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. In 2010, synthetic opioids were involved in just 8% of all overdose deaths, and by 2015, they were involved in 18% of all overdose deaths.
(Sources: CNNCDC

According to the study, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths increased from 6.1 per 100,000 standard population in 1999 to 16.3 in 2015, an overall average increase of 5.5% per year. More specifically, the rate increased on average by 10% per year from 1999 to 2006, by 3% per year from 2006 to 2013, and by 9% per year from 2013 to 2015. For males, the rate increased from 8.2 per 100,000 in 1999 to 20.8 in 2015. For females, the rate increased from 3.9 per 100,000 in 1999 to 11.8 in 2015.
(Source: CDC)

The four states with the highest age-adjusted drug overdose death rates in 2015 were West Virginia (41.5), New Hampshire (34.3), Kentucky (29.9), and Ohio (29.9).  Multiple other states including Indiana (19.5) reported rates that were statistically higher than the national rate of 16.3 per 100,000.
(Source: CDC)


  1. Individuals who are physically dependent on abused opioid should seek professional medical help in order to mitigate the risk of overdosing.
  2. To prevent death from overdose, people who are at risk for opioid overdose should have access to naloxone and a syringe so that it can be injected into a muscle in the case of overdose.
  3. SAMHSA has an Opioid Prevention Overdose Toolkit that provides important information on opioid overdose and how to use naloxone to save lives.
    (Source: SAMHSA)