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:
Fatal Overdose From All Opioids:
Overdose Death From Prescription Opioids:
Fatal Overdose From Heroin Only:
Overdose Deaths From Synthetic Opioids (excluding methadone):
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.
- 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.
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Published on June 9, 2021
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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Opioid Overdose
- National Institute on Drug Abuse – Overdose Death Rates
- United States Department of Health and Human Services – Opioid Crisis Statistics