Rx Drug Deaths

Prescription Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths

Around 46 people die every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids.

Prescription opioids continue to contribute to the opioid overdose epidemic in the United States.  More than 40% of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths in 2016 involved a prescription opioid, with more than 46 people dying every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids. 

The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths include:

  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone (such as OxyContin®)
  • Hydrocodone (such as Vicodin®)3

Among those who died from prescription opioid overdose in 2016:

  • Overdose rates from prescription opioids were highest among people aged 25 to 54 years.
  • Overdose rates from prescription opioids were higher among non-Hispanic whites and American Indian or Alaskan Natives, compared to non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics.
  • The rate of overdose deaths from prescription opioids among men was 6.2 and the rate among women was 4.3 in 2016.
  • The highest overdose death rates from prescription opioids were in West Virginia, Maryland, Maine, and Utah.

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