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Home arrow News arrow Opioid Crisis Persists: Over 112,000 Drug Overdose Deaths in the US, Concerns Grow

Opioid Crisis Persists: Over 112,000 Drug Overdose Deaths in the US, Concerns Grow

HealthReporter author Nadzeya Sankovich
Written by Nadzeya Sankovich
Last update: October 12, 2023
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Opioid Crisis Persists - Over 112,000 Drug Overdose Deaths in the US, Concerns Grow

Key Takeaways

  • The number of drug overdose deaths in the United States is still growing every month, according to new data, reaching over 112,000 in the year ending May 2023.
  • Although the pace of increase has slowed, experts warn that 2023 is on track to be yet another devastating year in the ongoing drug epidemic.

New data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that drug overdose deaths in the United States continue to climb, reaching more than 112,000 in the year ending May 2023. This marks an increase of more than 2,700 from the previous year.

Dr. Katherine Keyes from Columbia University notes a leveling off in the rise of overdose deaths. However, the small monthly increases still put 2023 on track to be another devastating year amid the drug epidemic.

Fentanyl and synthetic opioids are major contributors to overdose deaths, with certain states, especially in the western US, experiencing spikes. Washington state, for instance, saw a more than 37% increase in deaths.

In response to the crisis, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved an over-the-counter version of naloxone, a drug that reverses opioid overdose. 

Experts emphasize that naloxone is just one part of a comprehensive overdose prevention effort. They stress the need for broader initiatives to address the root causes and engage in effective prevention efforts.


  1. Musa, A. (2023, October 11). US overdose deaths continue their rise, data shows, with ‘devastating impact’ on population. CNN.
  2. Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts. (2023, February 15). National Center for Health Statistics.
  3. U.S. Overdose Deaths In 2021 Increased Half as Much as in 2020 – But Are Still Up 15%. (n.d.).
Written by Nadzeya Sankovich
Nadzeya Sankovich is the Vice President of Communications at Health Reporter. Previously a professional journalist, she continues to write scientific articles and conduct research. With a background in sociology and medicine, she has worked with various healthcare organizations, from charities to telemedicine platforms.

Nadzeya is also a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and a volunteer for a non-profit organization that helps underserved communities. Through her work, she empowers people to take charge of their health and well-being.
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