Overdose deaths occurring among North Carolina residents have been on the rise. This metric includes deaths involving all types of medications and drugs: opioids (commonly prescribed opioids, heroin, and synthetic narcotics like fentanyl and fentanyl-analogues), stimulats (cocaine, methamphetamine), benzodizpines, and others. This metric includes fatal overdoses of all intents; over 90% of these deaths are unintentional.
The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total "economic burden" of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.
Source: NCDHHS Opioid and Substance Use Action Plan Data Dashboard
Note: Data is measured annually.