Taking a Closer Look at Overdose Facts and Statistics

Published On: September 7, 20223.1 min read614 wordsCategories: Uncategorized

Drug overdoses kill tens of thousands of Americans every year.

Studies suggest that many more overdose deaths are never reported. So, the actual numbers may be far higher.

Rates of substance misuse and overdose have been increasing in recent years. Now more than ever, it’s important to be informed about the nature of overdosing and who is affected.

In this article, we’ll break down overdose facts and statistics to give you a deeper insight into the nature of this growing problem in America.

Common overdose drugs

It’s possible to overdose on countless drugs, but the four drugs that most commonly lead to overdose are prescription opioids, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.


Opioids are painkillers typically prescribed to individuals who are experiencing chronic pain. The phrase “opioid epidemic” refers to the tens of thousands of people affected by opioid misuse and overdose each year. Nearly 800,000 people have died from a drug overdose since 1999; two out of every three are suspected to be from a fentanyl (a type of prescription painkiller) overdose.


Commonly referred to as “coke,” cocaine is used recreationally as a street drug. Cocaine-related overdose deaths have been steady since 1999, with a sharp increase from 2015 to 2016 (a 5,000+ death increase), and another spike with the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 (another increase of 5,000+ deaths).


Heroin is an illicit drug made from morphine, and the number of heroin-involved overdose deaths is seven times higher now than it was in 1999. In terms of heroin overdose statistics, it’s been revealed that 20% of all opioid-related overdose deaths also involve some level of heroin.


Also known as meth, methamphetamine is a psychostimulant known for its incredibly powerful effects and strong potential for addiction. Statistics show that meth overdoses have tripled in recent years, primarily due to the integration of synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) as a “booster.”

Overdose facts and overdose statistics

While overdose can occur in people of all ages and backgrounds, some demographic groups are disproportionately affected.

For instance, while men are twice as likely to die from an overdose as women, the overdose death rate of women is rising at a much faster pace than that of their male counterparts.

Other drug overdose statistics are as follows:

  • Men between the ages of 25 and 35 are more likely to die from an overdose than any other demographic (and twice as likely as their female counterparts)
  • Women are most likely to overdose between the ages of 45 and 65 (with a multitude of these deaths being accidental)
  • Drug overdoses have killed almost 1 million people since 1999

The more we are able to clearly identify why overdoses impact certain demographics more than others, the better we can provide them with the appropriate outreach and treatment options.

Seek professional support

If you think you or someone you love may be struggling with a substance use disorder, don’t hesitate to seek professional support as soon as possible. When left untreated, addiction can be dangerous and tragically, in many cases, fatal to the individual, often due to the long-term abuse of the body, or an overdose.

At Freedom Detox, your recovery is our top priority. We’re here to not only support you throughout your recovery journey, but into your sobriety and beyond. Our dedicated team is here to walk with you every step of the way.

We offer a variety of different detox and recovery programs because we recognize that no two people are alike, and that every individual deserves a program designed just for them. From medical services, to personalized care, to your post-rehabilitation aftercare, we’re here to help.

To learn more about which program is best suited for your needs, call us today at 800-475-2312.

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