The Opioid Epidemic: National and State Trends in Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths, 2000-2016 (Briefs)
For nearly two decades, the United States has experienced a growing crisis of drug abuse and addiction that is illustrated most starkly by deaths from drug overdose. Since 2000, the number of drug overdose deaths has more than tripled from 17,500 to 63,500 in 2016.1,2 Most of these deaths involved opioids, including heroin and prescription painkillers.3 In the years since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared overdoses from prescription painkillers an “epidemic” in 2011, the opioid overdose crisis has evolved rapidly from a problem tied mostly to prescription opioid painkillers to becoming increasingly driven by illicitly trafficked heroin and synthetic opioids.
SHADAC has produced two briefs that provide high-level information about opioids and opioid addiction, present the historical context for the epidemic of opioid-related addiction and mortality in the United States, and examine trends in opioid-related mortality across the country and among population subgroups as well as among the states.
The State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) is a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a part of the Health Policy and Management Division of the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.