174 a Day: Understanding the Numbers

December 21, 2017 | Addiction Policy Forum

According to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were more than 63,600 total drug overdose deaths in 2016, or 174 drug overdose deaths per day. This number is up 21 percent in just one year -- from 144 a day in 2015.

graph showing increase in overdose deaths per year

#174aDay by the numbers:

  • Opioids were involved in 42,249, or 67% of 2016 drug overdose deaths (up from 63% in 2015)--116 out of 174 daily drug overdose deaths are the result of opioids.  

  • The opioid-involved death rate increased by 27.7% from 2015, driven largely by increases in deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (this category is dominated by illicitly-manufactured fentanyl), and heroin.

  • Overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and fentanyl analogs more than doubled in just one year (from 2015 to 2016).

  • Overdose deaths rates were significantly higher in males than in females and the highest rates of overdose deaths were in people aged 24 to 54 years old.

  • The highest rates of drug overdose deaths in 2016 occurred in West Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire, the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania.

Read the CDC's full report.

Topics: 174aDay

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