Interactive Map Shows Fatal Alcohol And Drug Overdose Statistics In U.S.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has published an interactive map that reveals the extent of the overdose epidemic over a 15-year period. On the map, you can view death statistics by state, substance, age, and gender. The map was devised using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to latest the drug overdose statistics, overdose deaths have increased 137% since 2000, and more than 52,400 Americans died from an overdose (including all drugs and alcohol) in 2015. That’s the highest number ever recorded.
Startlingly, the data shows that the largest increase (an incredible 4150%!) in overdose deaths has been older Americans aged 65-74. There was only 16 deaths in 1999, but that skyrocketed to 680 deaths in 2014. The main reason is believed to be the mass prescribing of opioids for chronic pain. Opioids themselves have caused a 200% increase in overdose deaths.
Key Statistics By Substance
The alcohol and drug overdose statistics are broken down into six drug categories: alcohol, benzodiazepines, cocaine, heroin, prescription opioids, and stimulants.
Alaska had the most fatal alcohol poisonings at about 26 deaths per 100,000 residents. The age range suffering from the most alcohol-related deaths in Alaska was 45 to 54, for both men and women.
However, Alaskan women 45-54 died from alcohol poisoning at 20 per 100,000, a number at least 3 times higher than any other female group in the U.S. Men? A staggering 32 deaths per 100,000.
Men had relatively high death rates in general – around 20-40 per 100,000. Middle-aged men ranked the highest, which puts to bed the belief that college students are at the highest risk for such deaths.
West Virginia men aged 35-44 had the highest rate of deaths by opioid at nearly 26 per 100,000 persons.
Women, on the other hand, were more likely to overdose on opioids than any other substance. West Virginia had high opioid death rates for all female age groups.
Death rates greater than 10 per 100,000 were seen in every age group, and averages doubled per 100,000 persons in the 25-54 age categories.
Deaths related to benzodiazepines were also common in West Virginia for both genders, and ranged from 20-30 per 100,000 residents aged 25-54.
Deaths related to benzos were especially high for both senior men and women in New Jersey, Florida, and California.
Heroin overdoses were highest in New England, especially for men aged 25-44. New Hampshire had the highest rate of death for both men and women aged 25-34.
Female deaths numbered around 15 deaths per 100,000 residents, whereas the number of men at 28 deaths per 100,000 was nearly double that of women.
New England also saw high rates of cocaine overdoses for men, Rhode Island in particular.
Women who died from cocaine overdoses numbered highest in New Mexico, especially in the 35-54 age range.
Stimulants include amphetamines such as methamphetamine. New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah had high rates of stimulant-related deaths, each with more than 10 male deaths per 100,000 residents in the 45-64 age range.
Oddly, Hawaii came in high at more than 15 deaths for both men and women in the 45-54 year age range.
More men than women suffered from fatal substance abuse-related overdoses. In the 15-year period analyzed, more than 52,000 women and 96,000 men died from an overdose.
All age groups saw an increase in deaths between 1999-2014. The youngest age group, 15-24, increased from 320 to 2,735 deaths.
The 25-34 age group increased from just under 1,800 deaths to more than 10,000. Ages 35-44 increased from over 4,000 to more than 10,000. Those in the 55-65 age range increased from just over 200 to nearly 7,500.
Drug Overdose Statistics And Seniors
As noted above, the sharpest increase occurred in the 65-74 age range, going from 16 deaths to 680.
Between 1999 and 2014, senior men saw a 775% increase in fatal overdoses, from 16 to 140 deaths. Senior women had an even more dramatic increase, from 11 to 196 deaths – a 1,682% change.
Other Alcohol And Drug Overdose Statistics
Heroin deaths increased 23% in just one year to nearly 13,000.
Deaths from opioids, including illicit fentanyl, increased 73% to 9,580. Prescription painkillers. Abuse of prescription painkiller drugs like Oxycontin and Vicodin killed 17,536, a relatively small increase at 4%. However, they were still responsible for the most number of deaths among any drug category.
All in all, overdose deaths increased by 11% in 2015 to more than 52,400. By comparison, 37,757 people died in car accidents – an increase of 12%. Gun deaths, including homicides and suicides, totaled more than 36,200, an increase of 7%.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology