The number of deaths by drug overdose reached a new high in 2021 of almost 108,000, compared to over 93,000 in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The rise in deaths was driven by the increase in overdose deaths of synthetic opioids, principally fentanyl, which have increased from fewer than 10,000 in 2016 to more than 68,000 in 2021, and methamphetamines, which have increased from fewer than 10,000 in 2016 to more than 31,000 in 2021. In contrast, deaths from heroin have fallen in recent years.
Alaska, Kansas, and South Dakota had the largest percentage increase in overdose deaths compared to 2020, with increases of 73%, 41%, and 35% respectively, while deaths fell in Hawaii, Maryland, and New Hampshire, by 9%, 3%, and 3%, respectively.
The full report is available online at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm (Users may have difficulty visualizing the data using the Firefox browser.)