Overdose deaths drop in Ohio, U.S., new CDC data shows

The number of U.S. fatal overdoses fell last year, according to newly released federal data (Source: “Fewer US overdose deaths were reported last year, but experts are still cautious,” Associated Press, May 15).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted data this week showing that about 107,500 people died of overdoses in the U.S. last year, including both American citizens and non-citizens who were in the country at the time they died, the CDC estimated. That’s down 3% from 2022, when there were an estimated 111,000 such deaths, the agency said.

Ohio saw an 8% drop in reported cases, from 5,144 in 2022 to 4,723 in 2023, according to the CDC data.

Agency officials noted the data is provisional and could change after more analysis, but that they still expect a drop when the final counts are in. It would be only the second annual decline since the current national drug death epidemic began more than three decades ago.

However, experts reacted cautiously. One described the decline as relatively small, and said it should be thought more as part of a leveling off than a decrease. Another noted that the last time a decline occurred — in 2018 — drug deaths shot up in the years that followed.

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