Drug-Induced Mortality in the US, by Gender and Race/Ethnicity

"In 2019, a total of 74,511 persons died of drug-induced causes in the United States (Tables 6, 8, and I– 2). The category of drug-induced causes includes deaths from drug overdose as well as deaths from other medical conditions caused by use of legal or illegal drugs. In 2019, drug-overdose deaths accounted for 94.8% of all drug-induced deaths (Tables 6 and 8). The drug-induced category excludes deaths indirectly related to drug use, as well as newborn deaths due to the mother’s drug use. (For a list of all drug-induced causes including those specifically classified as drug-overdose causes, see Technical Notes.)

"The age-adjusted death rate for drug-induced causes increased 4.6% for the total population from 21.8 in 2018 to 22.8 in 2019 (Table 10). For males in 2019, the age-adjusted death rate for drug-induced causes was 2.1 times the rate for females. T0he rate for males increased by 6.1% in 2019 from 2018.

"Among the major race-ethnicity groups—Age-adjusted rates increased in 2019 from 2018 by 15.0% for the non-Hispanic black population and by 15.5% for the Hispanic population. The age-adjusted death rate for non-Hispanic white males was 9.5% lower than for non-Hispanic black males and 76.1% higher than for Hispanic males. The rate for non-Hispanic white females was 31.7% higher than for non-Hispanic black females and 211.7% higher than for Hispanic females. Rates increased between 2018 and 2019 for non-Hispanic white males (2.3%), non-Hispanic black males (15.3%), non-Hispanic black females (15.4%), Hispanic males (17.1%), and Hispanic females (7.1%) (Tables 5, 10, and I–2). The age-adjusted death rate for druginduced causes did not change significantly in 2019 from 2018 for the total female population, total non-Hispanic white population, and non-Hispanic white females."


Xu JQ, Murphy SL, Kochanek KD, and Arias E. Deaths: Final data for 2019. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 70 no 08. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2021. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:106058.