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.
Between 2000 and 2015, the state experienced a 400 percent increase in deaths due to prescription drug misuse.2 In 2016, the prescription drug misuse deaths decreased, but heroin deaths increased. This could be a cause for concern, since 80 percent of heroin users started off by misusing prescription drugs.
1Hedegaard H, Warner M, Miniño AM. Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999–2018. NCHS Data Brief, no 294. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017/ CDC. Wide-ranging online data for epidemiologic research (WONDER). Atlanta, GA: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics; 2016. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db356_tables-508.pdf#3
2“Prescription Drug Overdoses.” Violence & Injury Prevention Program: Utah Department of Health. Source: http://health.utah.gov/vipp/topics/prescription-drug-overdoses/