Drug Overdoses Continued to Increase in 2017

CHI’s most up-to-date graphics show drug overdoses in Colorado through 2017
March 10, 2023

In 2017, 1,012 Coloradans died of drug overdose, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). That's more than in any previous year recorded by the state. 

CHI created the graphics below to illustrate drug overdose trends through 2017. They are free for public use and available to download. The source for the data is CDPHE. 

Below: There were 373 deaths involving prescription opioids (a category that includes fentanyl), 299 involving methamphetamines, 224 involving heroin, and 94 involving cocaine in 2017. This is a marked increase in all categories except cocaine since 2001. 

Below: There were 6.5 deaths due to prescription opioids per 100,000 people in 2017, up from 1.7 per 100,000 people in 1999. There were 3.9 deaths per 100,000 people due to heroin in 2017, up from 0.9 in 1999. 

Below: The rate of deaths due to drug overdoses has increased steadily since 1999.