Together We Can Save Lives

We can prevent overdoses and save lives by ensuring equitable access to essential health care and support services without stigma.

Primary Prevention

Preventing substance use disorder is the first step towards addressing overdoses. Learn about effective prevention programs and safe prescribing practices.


Harm Reduction

Harm reduction is critical to keeping people who use drugs alive and as healthy as possible. Read the research and reduce stigma.


Evidence-Based Treatment

When a person is ready, high-quality treatment must be available without delay. Help improve access to treatment.


Recovery Support

Recovery support services can lead to better long-term outcomes, especially when available in communities where they are needed. Explore different types of recovery services.


The overdose crisis is national, but the impact is personal.

As the overdose crisis continues to change, we must take a pragmatic, evidence-based approach to saving lives, reducing risk, and removing barriers to effective interventions. This requires that we provide care and services that respect the health and dignity of people who use drugs.


Trends in U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths (1999 - 2019)

The overdose crisis has evolved over time and is now largely characterized by deaths involving illicitly manufactured synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, and, increasingly, stimulants. Since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths has increased by over 250%.

Overdose Deaths Historical Chart 1999-2019

Synthetic opioids excluding methadone overdose deaths increased 50-fold

Psychostimulants with abuse potential (primarily methamphetamine) overdose deaths increased 30-fold

Cocaine overdose increased 4-fold

Rx opioid overdose deaths increased 4-fold

This graph shows the total number of drug overdose deaths in the United States from 1999 to 2019. The data shows that overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids excluding methadone have increased 50-fold, up to over 35,000 in 2019. Overdose deaths involving psychostimulants (primarily methamphetamine) with abuse potential have increased 30-fold, up to over 15,000 in 2019. Overdose deaths involving cocaine have increased 4-fold, up to over 15,000 in 2019. And overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have increased 4-fold, but are on the decline with less than 15,000 in 2019. Source: National Vital Statistics System Mortality File
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Overdose Deaths Increased

Drug overdose deaths reached 93,331 in 2020 – the highest number ever recorded.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics

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Higher Rates in Minority Groups

In 2019, non-Hispanic American Indians or Alaska Natives had a higher drug overdose death rate than any other racial or ethnic group (30 per 100,000).

Source: CDC Wonder

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Instability Increases Overdose

People without health insurance, or who were incarcerated, or who are living in poverty are at increased risk of fatal opioid overdose.

Source: MDAC Study

$11.2 billion in proposed federal funding across HHS

Therefore, the President proposed $11.2 billion for HHS in the FY 2022 budget, a 54 percent increase from the previous year's budget (enacted), to expand access to substance use prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services. In addition, there is proposed funding to bolster the nation’s behavioral health infrastructure.