Background and Significance

Drug overdose deaths, misuse, and substance use disorders (SUDs) constitute a major, high-impact health problem in the U.S.A. Provisional data from the CDC indicates there were an estimated 104,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States during the 12-month period ending in September 2021, equaling an astonishing 285 deaths per day. The COVID19 pandemic erupted in the midst of this ongoing crisis and contributes to the increased drug overdose deaths.

104,000 Drug Overdose Deaths 2020-2021
~200,000 Years of Life  Lost to Drug Overdose Among Teens and Preteens ages10-19 2015-2019

These statistics emphasize how drug misuse and SUDs persist as great challenges on the public health agenda, and we must continue to invest innovative thought, intellectual prowess, and disruptive strategies to address this crisis. The loss of human potential is tremendous, and drug misuse and SUDs radically alters the course of lives.

In one study (JAMA Pediatrics, published online 1/31/22), it is estimated the U.S. had ~200,000 years of life lost to drug overdose in a 5-year period (2015-2019) among our teens and preteens ages 10-19. This is a stunning statistic and immediate action must be taken to stop adolescent and adult overdose deaths. Our field must aggressively pursue novel methods and medications to halt this trend, and we greatly benefit in scientific discovery from the engagement of multidisciplinary teams. 

Contact Us

Center for Addiction Sciences and Therapeutics
Phone: (409) 772-3093
Mailing address:
301 University Boulevard
Galveston, TX 77555-0615

Last Updated: January 16, 2024 RMG