The Top 5 U.S. States with the Highest Death Rates from Drug Poisoning

  U.S. State Drug Poisoning Rate
(per 100,000)
1 West Virginia 32.0 deaths per 100,000
2 Kentucky 25.0 deaths per 100,000
3 New Mexico 24.7 deaths per 100,000
4 Utah 23.1 deaths per 100,000
5 Nevada 21.0 deaths per 100,000
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  1. Since 2000, the age-adjusted drug poisoning death rate more than doubled, from 6.2 per 100,000 in 2000 to 13.1 per 100,000 in 2012. (a.)
  2. In 2012, 41,502 deaths were due to drug poisoning; 80 percent of these deaths were unintentional, 13 percent were suicides, and 7 percent were of undetermined intent. (a.)
  3. In 2011, opioid analgesics were involved in 41 percent of drug poisoning deaths (16,917 deaths); in 2012, that decreased to 39 percent (16,007 deaths). (a.)
  4. The age-adjusted rate for deaths involving opioid analgesics more than tripled from 1.5 per 100,000 in 2000 to 5.4 per 100,000 in 2011, then declined to 5.1 per 100,000 in 2012. (a.)
  5. During 2008 to 2011, an average of 1.1 million emergency department (ED) visits were made each year for drug poisoning, with a visit rate of 35.4 per 10,000 persons. The ED visit rate for drug poisoning was highest among persons aged 20 to 34. The rate declined with age after 20 to 34, and rates for those aged 0 to 19 were similar to those aged 50 and over. Drug-poisoning ED visit rates did not differ by sex and age, with the exception of persons aged 35 to 49, where females had a higher visit rate than males. The ED visit rate for unintentional drug poisoning was higher than selfinflicted drug poisoning overall and for males, but did not differ for females. Finally about one-quarter (24.5%) of drug-poisoning ED visits resulted in hospital admission. (b.)
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. (a.) Center for Disease Control: National Center for Health Statistics. (2015). "NCHS Data on Drug Poisoning Deaths".
  2. (b.) NCHS Data Brief No. 196, April 2015: "Emergency Department Visits for Drug Poisoning: United States, 2008 to 2011".
Tags: Death Statistics, Health Statistics, Drug & Alcohol Statistics, The United States

Sources:  CDC National Center for Health Statistics. (2015). "NCHS Data on Drug Poisoning Deaths"

List Notes: Data is the top 5 U.S. states with the highest fatality rate from illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, etc, and legal prescription drugs such as opioid analgesic pain relievers. Data is for the year 2012 is age-adjusted deaths per 100,000 standard population. Opioid analgesics include: natural and semisynthetic opioid analgesics such as hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone, methadone and other synthetic opioid analgesics such as fentanyl and meperidine. Drug poisoning deaths can result from taking an overdose of a drug, being given the wrong drug, taking a drug in error, or taking a drug inadvertently. Drug poisoning deaths on this list include all intents (i.e., unintentional, suicide, homicide, and undetermined intent).
U.S. States with the Highest Death Rates from Drug Poisoning

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