US Drug Overdose Deaths 2019-2020: 5 Findings on Striking Health Disparities

Between 2019 and 2020, overall drug overdose death rates increased in many areas of America, with the largest increases occurring among certain racial/ethnic minority populations, according to a new US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vital Signs report published online July 19, 2022 as a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Early Release.

Researchers used data from the State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS) to analyze overdose death rates from 2019 to 2020 in 26 jurisdictions: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Washington, and the District of Columbia. Rates were examined by race and ethnicity and county-level social determinants of health, such as income inequality and treatment provider availability. Below, find details on 5 critical findings from the report.