CDC: Overdose Deaths Up 15 Percent in 2021

However, growth in overdose deaths has slowed compared with the 30 percent increase seen in 2020

Drug overdose and substance abuse
Adobe Stock

WEDNESDAY, May 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Provisional data from the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that U.S. overdose deaths in 2021 increased at half the pace of 2020 but are still up 15 percent.

According to the provisional numbers, there were an estimated 107,622 drug overdose deaths in the United States during 2021, an increase of nearly 15 percent from the 93,655 deaths estimated in 2020.

Deaths are reported by the jurisdiction in which the death occurred, and the CDC data include changes in provisional drug overdose deaths for the 12-month period ending in December 2021 compared with the 12-month period ending in December 2020. The new data show overdose deaths involving opioids increased from an estimated 70,029 in 2020 to 80,816 in 2021. Increases in 2021 included overdose deaths from synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl), psychostimulants (such as methamphetamine), and cocaine. Alaska saw the biggest percentage increase in overdose deaths in 2021, with deaths up 75.3 percent. During 2021, overdose deaths in Wyoming did not increase at all, while deaths in Hawaii declined 1.8 percent versus the same point in 2020.

The data are featured in an interactive web data visualization that includes the following: (1) reported and predicted (estimated) provisional counts of deaths due to drug overdose occurring nationally and in each jurisdiction; (2) a U.S. map of the percentage changes in provisional drug overdose deaths for the 12-month period, by jurisdiction; and (3) reported and predicted provisional counts of drug overdose deaths involving specific drugs or drug classes occurring nationally and in selected jurisdictions.

More Information

Products