Millions of Americans have a substance use disorder. The overdose rates and death counts continue to rise nationally, but we are seeing some positive trends as more treatment facilities implement specialty programs that address the whole person, and government agencies actively explore strengths and weaknesses in standardized recovery protocol.

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Drug overdose claimed 72,000 American lives in 2017; synthetic fentanyl was responsible for approximately 42% of those deaths.

Only three states saw declines in overdose rates for the period between January 2016 and January 2017




Comparative between increases and decreases in overdose deaths between July 2016 and July 2017

14 states saw a drop in overdose deaths:

  • Alaska (-11.2%)
  • California (-2.9%)
  • Kansas (-4.4%)
  • Mississippi (-5.3%)
  • Monatana (-8.7)
  • Oregon (-3.7%)
  • Rhode Island (-3.9%)
  • Utah (-15.2%)
  • Washington (-13.5%)
  • Wyoming (-39.4%)

Some states with increased overdose deaths:

  • District of Columbia (45.7)
  • Indiana (27.8%)
  • Maryland (28.5%)
  • New Jersey (34.7%)
  • North Dakota (27.7%)
  • Ohio (39%
  • Pennsylvania (43.4%)
  • South Carolina (18.4%)
  • South Dakota (19%)
  • Vermont (26.4%)

Fentanyl deaths rose more than 70% between July 2016 and July 2017
(nationwide, based on death certificate data compiled by CDC)

Drug overdose death rates compared to other causes of death:

Drug overdose claimed
64,000 lives
Auto accidents claimed
40,000 lives
Cancer claimed
595,690 lives
Diabetes claimed
76,488 lives
Influenza and pheumonia combined claimed
55,227 lives
Kidney Disease claimed
48,146 lives
Suicide claimed
42,773 lives
Drug Overdose | 64,000 lives80%
Auto Accidents | 40,000 lives50%
Diabetes | 76,488 lives100%
Pnemonia | 55,227 lives70%
Kidney Disease | 48,146 lives60%
Suicide | 42,773 lives55%

Some evidence suggests that 75% of all overdoses are tied to opioid abuse.

Pharmaceutical companies failed to warn physicians about addictive properties of opiates
Doctors over-prescribed addictive pain-killers
Fentanyl and other opiates became available and prominen

Drug overdose rates spiked 21% from 2015 to 2016, killing 5870 more Americans in 2016 alone than all the American lives lost during the Vietnam war.


In 2013, 86% of surveyed facilities reported offering at least one type of specialty program:

Co-occuring mental and substance abuse disorders
LGBT client programs
Seniors and older adults
Young adults
Active duty military personnel
Active duty personnel in 2008 reported binge drinking regularly
American adolescents 18-20 had a substance abuse disorder in 2014
21-25 year olds admit to binge drinking occasionally

According to the CDC, compared to the general population, members of the LGBT community are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than their peers, and continue a heavy drinking pattern into later life.

43% (co-occuring mental and substance abuse disorders)

12% (LGBT client programs)

12% (seniors and older adults)

23% (young adults)

6% (active duty military personnel)

43% of active duty personnel reported binge drinking regularly (2008)

5% of all American adolescents had a substance abuse disorder in 201428.5% (18-20 year olds)

43.3% (21-25 year olds) admit to binge drinking occasionally

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