Mapping the Overdose Epidemic State by State

Drug overdose is an epidemic in the United States. Overdose deaths have increased by 14% from 2020 to 2021, according to the CDC. The percentage of increase varies by state, so the team at NY Requirements collected DCD data to create a map of overdose increases. They calculated the percentage of increase by looking at data from 2017 to 2021. The results show us that these states had the biggest number of overdose deaths:

  • California: 10,901 deaths
  • Florida: 7,827 deaths
  • New York: 5,842 deaths
  • Pennsylvania: 5,449 deaths
  • Ohio: 5,397 deaths
  • Texas: 4,984 deaths
  • North Carolina: 3,981 deaths
  • Tennessee: 3,813 deaths
  • Illinois: 3,762 deaths
  • Michigan: 3,089 deaths

This list is interesting compared to the top ten states with the largest percentage increase in overdose deaths:

  • Mississippi: 132.79% increase in deaths per 100,000 people
  • Louisiana: 128.16 % increase in deaths per 100,000 people
  • California: 127.35% increase in deaths per 100,000 people
  • Oregon: 116.13% increase in deaths per 100,000 people
  • Tennessee: 112.78% increase in deaths per 100,000 people
  • South Carolina: 108.78% increase in deaths per 100,000 people
  • New Mexico: 108.06% increase in deaths per 100,000 people
  • Kansas: 105.93% increase in deaths per 100,000 people
  • North Dakota: 86.96% increase in deaths per 100,000 people
  • Washington: 84.87% increase in deaths per 100,000 people

There are some interesting trends here. For example, Pennsylvania had some of the highest deaths in 2021 (5,449) but they are one of the few states that’s percentage of deaths have actually decreased from 2017 to 2021. The only three states that had a decreased percentage were Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Idaho. Meanwhile, California, Louisiana, and Mississippi experienced a shocking increase of over 125%. Examining this data proves the severity of overdose. 75% of these deaths were due to opioid drugs. Data presentations like this can be used to prove to lawmakers that the problem is serious, and more resources need to go into overdose prevention.

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