Visualizing the rise in overdose deaths due to synthetics
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The Synthetic Opioid Problem


Opioids Data Viz

Opioid overdose deaths started increasing rapidly in 2014, particularly those involving synthetic opioids. While there are some tentative indications that the worst of the opioid crisis might be over, a new study from RAND suggests that problems with synthetics will get worse before they get better as sales of synthetic opioids continue to spread nationally.

Our series of interactive data visualizations depicts how the specific mix of opioids involved in overdose deaths changed from 2000 to 2017, shifting away from prescription opioids and increasingly involving a combination of heroin and synthetics. We show how accidental overdose deaths rose rapidly within the same time frame, likely due to the unpredictability and variation in potency of synthetics.

All data represented in the graphics are available for download.

See the Data

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More Resources on This Topic
Infographic - Sources and Burden of Opioid Deaths
Webinar - Overcoming Opioids: Paths to Progress
Webinar - The Opioid Crisis: Treating Addiction and Saving Lives
Webinar - The Opioid Crisis: Understanding Pain and Preventing Opioid Misuse
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