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Drug overdoses killed 72,306 Americans last year.

The US government does not track death rates for every drug, but the National Center for Health Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collect information on many commonly used drugs. CDC has a searchable database, Wonder, from which these numbers come. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has graphed them to help the public see what a serious problem our nation faces. We reproduce them here to help spread the word.

Not all of these deaths are due to opioids, as later graphs below will show. Each graph contains a yellow and orange line indicating female (yellow) and male (orange) deaths. The lines end in 2016 because 2017 data are provisional. They will be finalized later this year.

Total drug-related deaths have increased 3.1-fold since 2002.


Opioid overdoses killed 49,068 Americans last year

Some 49,068 Americans died from opioid overdoses last year. These numbers include opioid painkillers, heroin, and illicit opioid synthetics, primarily fentanyl.

Overdoses from synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, killed 29,406 Americans last year.

These overdose deaths are up by one-third in just one year (from 2016 to 2027). There has been a 22-fold increase in synthetic opioid deaths since 2002.


Heroin overdoses killed 15,958 Americans last year

This is a 7.6-fold increase since 2002.


Cocaine overdoses killed 14,556 Americans last year

Since 2010, cocaine deaths have increased 3.5-fold.


Benzodiazepine overdoses killed 10,684 Americans last year.

From 2002 to 2016 there was an 8-fold increase in benzodiazepine overdose deaths.


Source: The Marijuana Report 22.08.18