Special Report

This Is Where North Carolina Ranks in Drug Overdose Deaths in 2020

More than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2020, a nearly 30% surge from 2019 and the most ever recorded in a single year, according to recently released data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Addiction experts say the increase in overdose deaths was largely driven by the increased presence of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl in the U.S. Other contributors include problems related to the coronavirus pandemic, such as increased isolation and job losses.

North Carolina is the state with the 23rd most drug overdose deaths per capita in 2020. There were 29 fatal overdoses per 100,000, or a total of 3,011 drug overdose-related deaths.

Last year, most reported an increase in drug overdose deaths after seeing a decrease in deaths in 2019. In North Carolina, there were 21 fatal drug overdoses in the state per 100,000 residents, or a total of 2,236, in 2019.

The average number of overdose deaths in North Carolina between 2015 and 2019 was 20 per 100,000 people a year, the 24th most of all U.S. states, or an average of 2,064 overdose-related deaths a year.

To determine the states with the highest drug overdose fatality rates, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed recently released CDC preliminary estimates of drug overdose deaths. The states are ranked based on the number of drug-related deaths per 100,000 residents. These are the states with the most drug overdose deaths per capita in 2020. These are the states with the most drug overdose deaths in 2020.

 

State Overdose deaths per 100,000 (2020) Total overdose deaths (2020) Overdose deaths per 100,000 (2019) Total overdose deaths (2019) Average overdose deaths a year per 100,000 (2015-2019) Total average over deaths a year (2015-2019)
West Virginia 74 1,326 48 852 48 868
Kentucky 47 2,104 31 1,369 31 1,391
Delaware 46 449 43 423 34 329
Maryland 46 2,761 39 2,360 35 2,086
Tennessee 45 3,091 31 2,138 26 1,771
Ohio 45 5,215 37 4,279 36 4,217
Louisiana 41 1,925 28 1,304 23 1,090
Pennsylvania 40 5,172 35 4,444 35 4,441
Connecticut 39 1,385 35 1,231 29 1,031
New Mexico 38 788 29 609 25 524
Rhode Island 37 396 30 317 31 329
Maine 36 490 27 362 26 347
Arizona 36 2,644 27 1,981 22 1,585
Florida 35 7,555 26 5,524 23 4,850
Indiana 34 2,268 25 1,704 23 1,578
South Carolina 34 1,728 22 1,131 19 969
Massachusetts 33 2,293 32 2,215 31 2,102
New Jersey 32 2,815 31 2,774 26 2,329
Missouri 31 1,921 26 1,603 23 1,422
Vermont 30 186 19 118 20 125
Nevada 30 914 23 710 23 716
New Hampshire 29 393 29 395 32 438
North Carolina 29 3,011 21 2,236 20 2,064
Illinois 28 3,528 22 2,775 20 2,513
Michigan 27 2,743 24 2,358 24 2,383
Wisconsin 26 1,530 21 1,200 19 1,083
Colorado 26 1,512 19 1,100 17 1,004
Virginia 26 2,186 18 1,538 16 1,357
New York 26 4,979 19 3,634 18 3,544
California 23 9,142 16 6,363 13 5,280
Washington 23 1,724 16 1,251 15 1,162
Alabama 20 989 15 739 15 749
Alaska 20 146 18 133 17 126
Utah 19 622 18 575 20 630
Hawaii 19 274 17 245 15 206
Oregon 19 798 14 610 13 539
Minnesota 19 1,066 14 788 12 682
Oklahoma 19 746 16 618 18 723
Wyoming 17 101 12 72 13 77
Georgia 17 1,848 13 1,378 13 1,389
Mississippi 17 510 12 365 11 330
Arkansas 17 515 12 362 13 397
North Dakota 16 123 12 90 10 76
Kansas 16 468 13 380 12 336
Idaho 16 280 15 264 13 237
Montana 15 157 13 139 12 124
Texas 14 4,153 11 3,123 10 2,887
Iowa 13 419 11 350 10 316
Nebraska 11 209 8 146 7 136
South Dakota 8 74 10 88 8 70