Together We Can Save Lives
We can prevent overdoses and save lives by ensuring equitable access to essential health care and support services without stigma.
Trends in U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths (1999 - 2019)
The overdose crisis has evolved over time and is now largely characterized by deaths involving illicitly manufactured synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, and, increasingly, stimulants. Since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths has increased by over 250%.
Overdose Deaths Increased
Drug overdose deaths reached 93,331 in 2020 – the highest number ever recorded.
Higher Rates in Minority Groups
In 2019, non-Hispanic American Indians or Alaska Natives had a higher drug overdose death rate than any other racial or ethnic group (30 per 100,000).
Instability Increases Overdose
People without health insurance, or who were incarcerated, or who are living in poverty are at increased risk of fatal opioid overdose.
Working Together to Combat the Overdose Crisis
Canada and the U.S. have published a white paper, Substance Use and Harms During COVID-19 and Approaches to Federal Surveillance and Response, that examines rapid and innovative approaches used by both countries to monitor substance use trends during the pandemic, including:
- substance use harms and deaths in Canada and the U.S.
- the impact of COVID-19 on the opioids crisis
- policy responses to address substance use from the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic to September 2022