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US drug overdose deaths decreased in 2023 for the first time in five years


An estimated 107,500 people died from a drug overdose in the US in 2023, a 3% decrease from 2022, according to provisional CDC data. Narcan and fentanyl test strips can help reduce risk.

CNN — After a steep rise during the Covid-19 pandemic, preliminary data shows that drug overdose deaths in the United States ticked down in 2023 for the first time in five years.

About 107,500 people died from a drug overdose in 2023, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics — about 3,500 fewer than in 2022.


Last year’s decrease is the first since 2018, but the 3% drop is far less substantial than the surges that pushed overdose deaths to record levels in recent years. Overdose deaths spiked 30% between 2019 and 2020 and rose another 15% between 2020 and 2021, CDC data shows.

Preliminary data is subject to change as death certificates are reviewed and records are assessed, but estimates suggest that, despite the decline, overdose deaths in 2023 were still almost twice as high as they were five years ago, according to the CDC data.




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