The number of fatal opioid overdoses nationwide has been steadily increasing since 1999, according to numbers from the National Vital Statistics System. In 2017, 47,600 people in the U.S. died after overdosing on an opioid.
Drug overdose deaths involving opioids increased fivefold between 1999 and 2016.1 The Drug Enforcement Administration had to issue a public safety alert for Sacramento, California in 2016 following a sharp surge in overdoses due to fake hydrocodone pills laced with fentanyl.2
In 2017 there were 2,685 drug overdose deaths in New Jersey. Between 2016 and 2017 the drug overdose death rate in the state jumped up 30 percent.1
1Scholl L, Seth P, Kariisa M, Wilson N, Baldwin G. Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2013–2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;67:1419–1427. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm675152e1.
2“Fentanyl: The Next Wave of the Opioid Crisis.” Statement from Louis J. Milione Assistant Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration. March 21, 2017.