The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed recent multiple cause-of-death mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System to track current trends and shifting characteristics of drug overdose deaths. Opioids—primarily prescription pain relievers and heroin—are the main driver of overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 28,647 deaths in 2014 and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 2000.
Significant increases in drug overdose death rates were seen in the Northeast, Midwest and South Census Regions. In 2014, the five states with the highest rates of death due to drug overdose were West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio. States with statistically significant increases in the rate from 2013 to 2014 included Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, C.D.C. (2016). CDC.gov. Retrieved 17 April, 2016.