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

"In 2016, a total of 67,265 persons died of drug-induced causes in the United States (Tables 5, 6, 8, and I–1). This category includes deaths from poisoning and medical conditions caused by use of legal or illegal drugs, as well as deaths from poisoning due to medically prescribed and other drugs. It excludes deaths indirectly related to drug use, as well as newborn deaths due to the mother's drug use. (For a list of drug-induced causes, see Technical Notes.)

"In 2016, the age-adjusted death rate for drug-induced causes for the total population increased significantly, by 20.9% from 17.2 in 2015 to 20.8 in 2016 (Tables 5, 10, and I–1). For males in 2016, the age-adjusted death rate for drug-induced causes was 1.9 times the rate for females. The rate for drug-induced causes increased 26.0% for males and 13.6% for females in 2016 from 2015. The age-adjusted death rate for non-Hispanic white males was 28.9% higher than for non-Hispanic black males and 131.8% higher than for Hispanic males. The rate for non-Hispanic white females was 71.6% higher than for non-Hispanic black females and 252.8% higher than for Hispanic females.

"Among the major race–ethnicity–sex groups, the age-adjusted death rates for drug-induced causes increased significantly in 2016 from 2015 for non-Hispanic white males (24.7%), non-Hispanic white females (12.0%), non-Hispanic black males (42.2%), non-Hispanic black females (29.8%), Hispanic males (26.5%), and Hispanic females (12.8%)."


Xu JQ, Murphy SL, Kochanek KD, Bastian B, Arias E. Deaths: Final data for 2016. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 67 no 5. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2018.