Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999–2015
Published Date:February, 2017
Corporate Authors:National Center for Health Statistics (U.S.)
Series:NCHS data brief ; no. 273
DHHS publication ; no. 2017–1209
Description:Data from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality
• The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2015 (16.3 per 100,000) was more than 2.5 times the rate in 1999 (6.1).
• Drug overdose death rates increased for all age groups, with the greatest percentage increase among adults aged 55–64 (from 4.2 per 100,000 in 1999 to 21.8 in 2015). In 2015, adults aged 45–54 had the highest rate (30.0).
• In 2015, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths among non-Hispanic white persons (21.1 per 100,000) was nearly 3.5 times the rate in 1999 (6.2).
• 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).
• In 2015, the percentage of drug overdose deaths involving heroin (25%) was triple the percentage in 1999 (8%).
Deaths from drug overdose have been identified as a significant public health burden in the United States in recent years. This report uses data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to highlight recent trends in drug overdose deaths, describing demographic and geographic patterns as well as the types of drugs involved.
Suggested citation: Hedegaard H, Warner M, Miniño AM. Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999–2015. NCHS data brief, no 273. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.
Supporting Files:No Additional Files
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