Overdose deaths in Wisconsin up nearly 22 percent over the 12-month period ending in April

The number of drug overdose deaths in Wisconsin reached 1,599 in the 12-month period ending in April, increasing nearly 22 percent over the prior year based on federal estimates. 

Over the same timeframe, the country overall is estimated to have experienced more than 100,000 overdose deaths for the first time during a 12-month period, for a nearly 29 percent increase. 

In line with the national trend, Wisconsin’s overdose deaths have been rising in recent years, the federal numbers show, particularly amid the ongoing pandemic. Earlier reports have also indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the opioid crisis. 

In the prior 12-month period ending April 2020, Wisconsin had 1,313 drug overdose deaths, estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. That number has largely been increasing year-over-year since at least 2015, with the exception of 2019 when it dipped slightly compared to the previous year. 

See the CDC estimates for state and national drug overdose deaths here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm