Deaths from preventable poisoning numbered 102,001 in 2021, the most current data year. The death rate per 100,000 population was 30.7. Males are at greatest risk, with a death rate of 44.1 compared to 17.6 for females. Total poisoning deaths increased 17%, from 87,404 in 2020, and well over eight times the 1999 total.

Drug poisonings account for 96% 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 decreased 5% in 2021, totaling 2,518. 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 542 deaths in 2021, an increase of 9% from 2020. 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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