Sunday, August 22, 2021

Drug Induced Deaths in the Southwestern U.S.

In 2019 the United States recorded over 74,500 drug induced deaths, a nearly four-fold increase in the number of such deaths since 1999. The 2019 U.S. drug induced death rate of 22.7 deaths per 100,000 population contrasted to just 6.9 such deaths per 100,000 population twenty years earlier.  Drug overdoses, both intentional and accidental, accounted for nearly 95% of these deaths.  While all regions of the country experienced increases in the number of drug induced deaths in the twenty year period from 1999, the experience in the four-state Southwestern U.S. was less severe.  While the national drug induced death rate more than tripled from 1999 to 2019, during this same period the drug induced death rate in the Southwest slightly more than doubled.  A closer look at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, reveals the following about drug induced deaths in the Southwestern U.S.:

Drug Induced Deaths in the Southwestern U.S.

Drug Induced Deaths in the Southwestern U.S.


Area/Deaths 1999 2009 2019
AZ 557 1,041 2,016
NM 275 447 632
OK 189 766 680
TX 1,250 2,509 3,355
Region 2,271 4,763 6,683
U.S. 19,128 39,147 74,511
Area/Death Rate* 1999 2009 2019
AZ 11.1 16.4 27.7
NM 15.2 21.9 30.1
OK 5.5 20.6 17.2
TX 6.1 10.1 11.6
Region 7.4 12.9 15.8
U.S. 6.9 12.8 22.7

(*) number of drug induced deaths per 100,000 population

Source: CDC Wonder. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2019 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released in 2020. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2019, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed on June 5, 2021

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