Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths in the US, 1999 to 2017

In 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services declared the overprescription and abuse of opioids a public health crisis, following 42,000 deaths the year prior.

Opioids kill roughly 130 Americans per day, making them more deadly than both car crashes and gun violence. How did we get here? The overuse and abuse of opioids is a new phenomenon, partially driven by surgeon overprescription. Follow the map below to see how this crisis has unfolded since 1999.

Note: A death is coded as opioid-involved if it has one of the following causes: opioids, natural/semisynthetic opioids, methadone, heroin, synthetic opioids other than methadone, or cocaine. Deaths may include multiple opioids as a cause and thus are not mutually exclusive.

Source: Multiple Cause of Death 1999–2017 on CDC Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (CDC WONDER). Atlanta, GA: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics. 2018. Available at http://wonder.cdc.gov.