Overdose Mortality by State


The epidemic of drug overdoses in the USA has been growing at an exponential rate for four decades; counts of overdose deaths have doubled approximately every eight years. The graph below plots the number of deaths per year for the entire USA, with a fitted exponential curve. 

A graph showing United States overdose death counts from 1979-2015

Graph: United States Overdose Death Counts (1979-2015)

This web site provides graphs of the number of deaths per year for all 50 states and 43 large cities.


All reported accidental poisoning deaths were abstracted for the period 1979 to 2015 from the death record reports provided by the US National Center for Health Statistics and maintained in the MOIRA death record repository at the University of Pittsburgh. Cases were identified as those carrying codes for accidental poisoning in the 9th or 10th revisions of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9 codes E850 to E858 for 1979-1998, and ICD-10 codes X40 to X44 for 1999-2015). These codes included all drug poisonings but excluded alcohol and organic solvents and halogenated hydrocarbons and their vapors, other  gases and vapors, pesticides, unspecified chemicals and noxious substances. For the purpose of this report we refer to the included accidental poisoning deaths collectively as drug overdose deaths. Population counts and age distributions were abstracted from the US Census. Overdose deaths per year were tabulated for the entire USA, for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and for the 43 counties with greater than 1,000,000 population, and log-linear models were fitted to the resulting data plots. 


Links to graphs of overdose deaths for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 40 large counties (pop. >1 million) are provided below.


For questions or comments contact Michael Mallon at MSM126@pitt.edu or 412-624-5163.


Alabama Hawaii Massachusetts New Mexico South Dakota Washington, D.C.
Alaska Idaho Michigan New York Tennessee  
Arizona Illinois Minnesota North Carolina Texas  
Arkansas Indiana Mississippi North Dakota Utah  
California Iowa Missouri Ohio Vermont  
Colorado Kansas Montana Oklahoma Virginia  
Connecticut Kentucky Nebraska Oregon Washington  
Delaware Louisiana Nevada Pennsylvania West Virginia  
Florida Maine New Hampshire Rhode Island Wisconsin  
Georgia Maryland New Jersey South Carolina Wyoming  

Large Counties (Population Greater than 1 Million)

Maricopa County, AZ Santa Clara County, CA Wayne County, MI Mecklenburg County, NC
Pima County, AZ Broward County, FL Hennepin County, MN Cuyahoga County, OH
Alameda County, CA Hillsborough County, FL St. Louis County, MO Franklin County, OH
Contra Costa County, CA Miami-Dade County, FL Clark County, NV Allegheny County, PA
Los Angeles County, CA Orange County, FL Bronx County, NY Philadelphia County, PA
Orange County, CA Palm Beach County, FL Kings County, NY Bexar County, TX
Riverside County, CA Cook County, IL Nassau County, NY Dallas County, TX
Sacramento County, CA Montgomery County, MD New York County, NY Harris County, TX
San Bernardino County, CA Middlesex County, MA Queens County, NY Tarrant County, TX
San Diego County, CA Oakland County, MI Suffolk County, NY Travis County, TX