Opioid Epidemic By State 2020

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 2020 Pop.
Alabama107.24,908,621
Arkansas105.43,038,999
Delaware68.3982,895
Florida60.921,992,985
Idaho70.31,826,156
Indiana74.26,745,354
Kansas69.82,910,357
Louisiana89.54,645,184
Mississippi92.92,989,260
Montana61.11,086,759
Nebraska56.61,952,570
New Jersey44.28,936,574
North Dakota41.5761,723
Pennsylvania57.712,820,878
South Dakota49903,027
Wyoming64.8567,025
Hawaii3.4371,412,687
Texas5.153.129,472,295
California5.339.539,937,489
Iowa6.956.43,179,849
Minnesota7.8415,700,671
Oregon8.166.14,301,089
Washington9.657.27,797,095
Georgia9.770.910,736,059
Colorado1052.95,845,526
Oklahoma10.288.13,954,821
Nevada13.3733,139,658
Arizona13.561.27,378,494
Alaska13.952734,002
Virginia14.852.98,626,207
South Carolina15.579.35,210,095
Utah15.563.83,282,115
New York16.137.819,440,469
Missouri16.571.86,169,270
New Mexico16.756.42,096,640
Wisconsin16.952.65,851,754
Illinois17.251.112,659,682
Tennessee19.394.46,897,576
North Carolina19.87210,611,862
Vermont2050.5628,061
Michigan21.27410,045,029
Rhode Island26.951.21,056,161
Connecticut27.7483,563,077
Kentucky27.986.84,499,692
Massachusetts28.240.16,976,597
Maine29.955.71,345,790
Maryland32.251.76,083,116
New Hampshire3452.81,371,246
District of Columbia34.728.5720,687
Ohio39.263.511,747,694
West Virginia49.681.31,778,070