Drug-Related Overdoses



For decades, the number of fatal opioid overdoses nationwide had been steadily increasing, according to numbers from the National Vital Statistics System. But in 2018, the number of overall opioid deaths dropped to 46,802.

Unfortunately, the number of deaths from synthetic opioids - like fentanyl - continues to rise. Between 2017 and 2018, synthetic opioid deaths increased 9%.1


Drug Overdoses in New Mexico

New Mexico ranked 17th in the nation in drug overdose deaths in 2017, according to the latest numbers. Between 2013 and 2017, unintentional drug overdoses accounted for almost 88% of drug overdose deaths: 36% of unintentional drug overdose deaths were caused by prescription drugs, 40% were caused by illicit drugs, and 22% involved both . 2

New Mexico‚Äôs Rio Arriba County had the highest total drug overdose death rate (89.9 deaths per 100,000) between 2013 and 2017. In terms of actual numbers, Bernalillo County had the highest amount of drug overdose deaths -- 791.

Almost half of the counties in New Mexico had total drug overdose death rates 1.5 times higher than the U.S. rate.2

Between 2013 and 2017, 2,470 people died from drug overdose and 5,469 people went to the Emergency Room for an opioid-related overdose in the state. In addition, prescription drug overdose death was more common for women; illicit drug overdose death was more common for men.2

1Source: Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States (1999-2018), National Vital Statistics System
2 Source:  New Mexico Substance Abuse State Epidemiology Profile, December 2018. New Mexico Department of Health.