From January 2022 – January 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts a loss of 110,640 people will have died from drug overdoses in the United States, 1 which equates to one person dying from a drug overdose every five minutes. The number includes 3,908 Illinois residents who died from drug overdoses in 2022.

In 2022, there was a 5.1% increase in overdose deaths from any drug. Many of the individuals who died from drug overdose tested positive for more than one substance at their time of death. A single individual may be included in multiple categories. Deaths involving any opioids increased by 8.2%, and deaths involving synthetic opioids (i.e., fentanyl and fentanyl analogs) increased 12.1%. Deaths involving heroin, natural and semi-synthetic opioids decreased by 29.7% and 13.3%, respectively.

Other substances include cocaine, alcohol, psychostimulants, benzodiazepines, and xylazine. Alcohol and psychostimulants-related fatalities increased by 2.9% and 3.3%, respectively. Benzodiazepine-related overdoses decreased by 2.6%. Overdose fatalities involving cocaine increased by 16.3%. Of the 1,492 cocaine[1]involved deaths, 81% also tested positive for opioids. Similarly, 100% of the people who tested positive for xylazine also tested positive for a synthetic opioid. Xylazine, a non-opioid veterinary sedative, has been increasingly prevalent in the past two years, with xylazine-involved deaths increasing by 39.9% in 2022. Additional information on xylazine is located at the end of this brief.

With increasing drug overdose deaths, opioids continue to account for the majority of deaths (79%- 83%). Additionally, opioids are responsible for the highest drug overdose fatality rates across all Illinois geographic categories. Full report is below.

IDPH_Semiannual overdose report 10_23 post