How Many People Die From Opioids In The US?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on

Nearly 50,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2019. Deaths from synthetic opioids like fentanyl accounted for a large percentage of all opioid overdose fatalities.

How Many People Die From Opioids In The US Each Year?

At least 49,860 people died from an opioid overdose in the United States in 2019. According to the most recent data (2019) – this total for opioid overdose represents a 2.4 times increase since 2010.

Opioid overdose deaths represent a little over 70% of all overdose deaths from 2019.

Opioid Overdose Deaths By Drug Type

Fatal opioid overdoses are generally recorded according to many subcategories. Figures come from 2019 data.

Main categories include:

  • All Opioid Deaths: 49,860
  • Prescription Opioid Deaths: 14,139
  • Synthetic Opioid Deaths (Mostly Fentanyl): 36,359
  • Heroin Deaths: 5,273

From 2018 to 2019, drug overdoses involving all drugs increased by 5% – while opioid-involved deaths increased by approximately 6%.

Heroin deaths and prescription opioid deaths decreased by 6% and 7% respectively.

However, synthetic opioid-related deaths (mostly involving fentanyl, excluding methadone) increased by over 15%.

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Opioid Overdose Deaths By Gender

The number of men that overdose on all opioids is over two times the number of women that die from an opioid overdose.

In 2019, women and men both died of all opioid-related overdoses at over 1.8 times 2010-2018 rates.

Overdose Death From All Drugs:

female: 22,749
male: 47,881

Fatal Overdose From All Opioids:

female: 15,225
male: 34,635

Overdose Death From Prescription Opioids:

female: 5,755
male: 8,384

Fatal Overdose From Heroin Only:

female: 1,264
male: 4,009

Overdose Deaths From Synthetic Opioids (excluding methadone):

female: 10,076
male: 26,283

Overdose Deaths Among Those Ages 15-24

When accounting for teenage and young adult opioid overdoses, men still account for a higher percentage of all deaths. The total number of ages 15-24 opioid overdoses accounts for 7% of all opioid overdose deaths.

All Opioids

  • total: 3,725
  • female: 1,058
  • male: 2,667

Synthetic Opioids (excluding methadone – mostly fentanyl)

  • total: 3,040
  • female: 865
  • male: 2,175

Opioids account for 78% of all overdose deaths in people 15-24 years old. Fentanyl accounts for nearly 82% of all opioid-related deaths in young people for 2019.

Getting Help For An Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction is destructive. If you or a loved one misuses opioids, it’s never too late to get help. Call today to learn about the best inpatient and outpatient treatment options for your needs.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on
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