DENVER (KDVR) — If Colorado were a country, it would have one of the world’s highest drug overdose rates – even though it has only an average rate among U.S. states.
South African medical insurance comparison site Medical Aid used OECD, G20, European Union and IMF Developed Countries to create a list of the drug overdose rates from around the world. Among the countries in the data, the U.S. had the highest overdose rate in the world by far in 2019 – 22.62 deaths per 100,000 people. The next highest rate, Canada’s, was less than half of the U.S.’s.
Colorado’s drug overdose rate in 2021 was higher than that of any developed country in 2019, the last year for which there is worldwide data, following an uptick in drug deaths beginning in 2020.
According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, Colorado’s drug overdose rate was 31.4 per 100,000 in 2021 – three times Canada’s rate from two years prior, but still in the middle of U.S. rankings.
This is partly because both Colorado and national overdose have risen sharply since the end of the 2010s.
In 2019, Colorado’s rate was nearly half what it became in 2021. There were 18 overdose deaths per 100,000 in 2019. Overdose levels had been consistent from 2014-2019, with an average rate of 17. Overdoses jumped 38% in 2020 and another 26% in 2021.