Drug overdose deaths have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States.
Each day in the United States, over 120 people die as a result of a drug overdose. The number of drug poisoning deaths in 2013, the latest year for which data is available, involving opioid analgesics is substantial and outpaces the number of deaths for cocaine and heroin combined. (See Table 1.)
Deaths that result from the abuse or misuse of illicit street drugs and diverted pharmaceuticals reflect the most malicious way the illegal drug trade damages and destroys lives. As such, analysis of drug-related overdose deaths in western Pennsylvania for 2015 identified the following:
Allegheny County, containing the city of Pittsburgh, reported 648 drug-related overdose deaths in 2016.
Westmoreland County reported 174 drug-related overdose deaths in 2016.
Washington County reported 106 drug-related overdose deaths in 2016;
Butler County reported 74 drug-related overdose deaths in 2016.
(U) Figure 2: 2015 Drug-Related Overdose Deaths and
Percentage Change from 2014 in Four Western Pennsylvania Counties
Source: Pennsylvania Medical Examiners and Coroners and DEA