Opioid Deaths Increased 121% in the Last Five Years, But Deaths From Cocaine and Methamphetamines are Increasing Faster

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Drug overdose deaths are up 317% since 1999, while the US population has only increased 17% during that same time period (Fig. 87). There were 70,237 deaths from drug overdoses in 2017, with opioid-related deaths accounting for 66% of all drug overdose deaths. The number of opioid related deaths has more than doubled since 1999 when they made up only 32% of overall drug overdose deaths.

The recent uptick in drug deaths is not just due to opioids. Deaths from opioids have increased by 753% since 1999, but deaths from cocaine and methamphetamines have increased by approximately 456% during this same time. From 2012 to 2017, opioid deaths increased by 121%, but deaths related to cocaine increased 217%, and deaths related to methamphetamine increased 292%.