White overdose deaths fall in 2022

Black overdose deaths rise…again

White overdose deaths fell 8.7% to 3,763 in 2022, estimates Harm Reduction Ohio based on an analysis of preliminary state mortality data. Black overdose deaths increased 6.3% to 1,035 in 2022.

Ohio’s overdose epidemic has a racial divide that is growing and unprecedented.

Overdose death rates for White residents dropped last year to 39.0 per 100,000 residents while overdose death rates for Black Ohioans increased to 62.4.

The difference between the overdose death rates of White and Black Ohioans — i.e., the racial gap — has grown with startling quickness and to a size nobody predicted.

For many years, White Ohioans had higher over death rates than Black residents. That trend reversed itself in 2019 as fentanyl expanded more broadly into Ohio’s drug supply, especially into cocaine.


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