Deaths from preventable poisoning numbered 87,404 in 2020, the most current data year. The death rate per 100,000 population was 26.5. Males are at greatest risk, with a death rate of 38.3 compared to 15.1 for females. Total poisoning deaths increased 32%, from 65,773 in 2019, and well over seven times the 1999 total.

Drug poisonings account for 95% of poisoning deaths, more frequently referred to as drug overdoses. Over three out of four of these drug overdose deaths involved opioids.

Deaths due to alcohol poisoning increased 16% in 2020, totaling 2,665. Alcohol poisoning deaths for males outnumbered those for females by three to one. It should be noted that alcohol may also be present in combination with other drugs.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is included in the category of “other gases and vapors” and totaled 481 deaths in 2020, a decrease of 8% from 2019. Use the interactive poisoning chart to explore trends over time, by sex, and age group.

 Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, WONDER

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