Estimated Drug-Induced Mortality in the US, by Gender and Race/Ethnicity

"In 2014, a total of 49,714 persons died of drug-induced causes in the United States (Tables 10, 12, and 13). This category includes deaths from poisoning and medical conditions caused by use of legal or illegal drugs, as well as deaths from poisoning due to medically prescribed and other drugs. It excludes unintentional injuries, homicides, and other causes indirectly related to drug use, as well as newborn deaths due to the mother’s drug use. (For a list of drug-induced causes, see Technical Notes; also see the discussion of poisoning mortality that uses the more narrow definition of poisoning as an injury in the preceding ‘‘Injury mortality by mechanism and intent’’ section.)

"In 2014, the age-adjusted death rate for drug-induced causes for the total population increased significantly, 6.2%, from 14.6 in 2013 to 15.5 in 2014 (Internet Tables I–3 and I–4). For males in 2014, the age-adjusted death rate for drug-induced causes was 1.6 times the rate for females. The age-adjusted death rate for black females was 42.9% lower than for white females, and the rate for black males was 29.3% lower than for white males. The rate for drug-induced causes increased 7.2% for males and 5.4% for females in 2014 from 2013.

"Among the major race-sex and race-ethnicity-sex groups, the age-adjusted death rates for drug-induced causes increased significantly in 2014 from 2013 for white males (7.5%), white females (4.7%), black males (8.6%), non-Hispanic white males (8.0%), non-Hispanic white females (5.5%), non-Hispanic black males (7.6%), and non-Hispanic black females (11.3%). The rate for Hispanic males did not change significantly. The rate for Hispanic females was unchanged."


Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final data for 2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 65 no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016, pp. 12-13.