Opioid Epidemic By State 2019

In recent years, the use of opioids has been on the rise in the United States, causing an epidemic. Opioids are a class of drug that not only include the illegal drug heroin, but also legal drugs prescribed by doctors for pain. These drugs can help relieve severe pain but unfortunately are highly addictive, while withdrawals from not having the drug are painful. People that no longer have access to the legal drugs they are prescribed may purchase opioids illegally. Not only does this affect a person’s personal life and increase the chances for criminal charges, but abuse of opioids can lead to overdose … and even death.

The National Institution on Drug Abuse has released data for the opioid prescription rates and opioid overdose death rates from 2017. Based on this information, the state of Tennessee had the highest opioid prescription rate of 94.4 for every 100 persons. Oklahoma’s prescription rate was the second-highest in the nation at 88.1 per every 100 persons. Kentucky also had a high prescription rate at 86.8.

The opioid prescription rate by state ranked from highest to lowest is as follows:

The remaining 16 states did not meet inclusion criteria of this study.

When it comes to overdoses caused by opioids, the highest rates of death were in West Virginia, where 49.6 out of every 100,000 persons died from an opioid-involved overdose death. Coming in second was Ohio with an opioid overdose rate of 39.2. The third highest rates of death occurred in Washington, D.C., where the rate was 34.7.

All states with enough data to calculate opioid-involved overdose deaths, in order from highest rate to lowest, are as follows:

  • West Virginia: 49.6
  • Ohio: 39.2
  • Washington, D.C.: 34.7
  • New Hampshire: 34.0
  • Maryland: 32.2
  • Maine: 29.9
  • Massachusetts: 28.2
  • Kentucky: 27.9
  • Connecticut: 27.7
  • Rhode Island: 26.9
  • Michigan: 21.2
  • Vermont: 20.0
  • North Carolina: 19.8
  • Tennessee: 19.3
  • Illinois: 17.2
  • Wisconsin: 16.9
  • New Mexico: 16.7
  • Missouri: 16.5
  • New York: 16.1
  • South Carolina: 15.5
  • Utah: 15.5
  • Virginia: 14.8
  • Alaska: 13.9
  • Arizona: 13.5
  • Nevada: 13.3
  • Oklahoma: 10.2
  • Colorado: 10.0
  • Georgia: 9.7
  • Washington: 9.6
  • Oregon: 8.1
  • Minnesota: 7.8
  • Iowa: 6.9
  • California: 5.3
  • Texas: 5.1
  • Hawaii: 3.4
* Rates are per 100,000 people
State Opiod Overdose Deaths Rate Opiod Prescriptions Rate 2019 Pop.
Alabama107.24,898,246
Arkansas105.43,026,412
Delaware68.3975,033
Florida60.921,646,155
Idaho70.31,790,182
Indiana74.26,718,616
Kansas69.82,910,931
Louisiana89.54,652,581
Mississippi92.92,987,895
Montana61.11,074,532
Nebraska56.61,940,919
New Jersey44.28,922,547
North Dakota41.5760,900
Pennsylvania57.712,813,969
South Dakota49892,631
Wyoming64.8572,381
Hawaii3.4371,416,589
Texas5.153.129,087,070
California5.339.539,747,267
Iowa6.956.43,167,997
Minnesota7.8415,655,925
Oregon8.166.14,245,901
Washington9.657.27,666,343
Georgia9.770.910,627,767
Colorado1052.95,770,545
Oklahoma10.288.13,948,950
Nevada13.3733,087,025
Arizona13.561.27,275,070
Alaska13.952735,720
Virginia14.852.98,571,946
South Carolina15.579.35,147,111
Utah15.563.83,221,610
New York16.137.819,491,339
Missouri16.571.86,147,861
New Mexico16.756.42,096,034
Wisconsin16.952.65,832,661
Illinois17.251.112,700,381
Tennessee19.394.46,833,793
North Carolina19.87210,497,741
Vermont2050.5627,180
Michigan21.27410,020,472
Rhode Island26.951.21,056,738
Connecticut27.7483,567,871
Kentucky27.986.84,484,047
Massachusetts28.240.16,939,373
Maine29.955.71,342,097
Maryland32.251.76,062,917
New Hampshire3452.81,363,852
District of Columbia34.728.5711,571
Ohio39.263.511,718,568
West Virginia49.681.31,791,951