Drug overdoses continue to sweep America, contributing to the “unintentional injuries” category ranked the third leading cause of death. Opioids are the main cause of drug overdose death. The opioid epidemic alone has been declared a public health emergency to free up resources for treatment. More than 140 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the yearly statistics of deaths caused by drug overdoses continue to rise. Notice the large growth of deaths between just 2014 and 2016.
Overdose death data can be examined by state to detect patterns. In 2016, the five states with the highest rates of death due to drug overdose were West Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. From 2015 to 2016, significant increases in drug overdose death rates were seen in the Northeast, Midwest and South Census Regions.