NewsCovering Kentucky


Overdose fatalities on the rise, according to 2021 Overdose Fatality Report

Posted at 10:22 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-13 22:55:52-04

(LEX 18) — The Commonwealth of Kentucky's Justice & Public Safety Cabinet released the 2021 Overdose Fatality Report highlighting the growth in overdose deaths over the past few years.

In 2021, it was reported that 2,250 Kentuckians died from a drug overdose, a 14.5% jump compared to 2020.

"Addiction remains one of the most critical public health and safety issues facing the commonwealth of Kentucky. In particular, the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs, heroin, methamphetamine and illicit fentanyl have contributed to an alarming, sustained increase in overdose deaths. With the exception of an isolated reduction in 2018, the annual number of overdose deaths has grown year after year among Kentucky residents," the report reads.

• In 2019, there were 1,316 overdose deaths.

• In 2020, there were 1,964 overdose deaths. This was a 49% increase from 2019.

• In 2021, there were 2,250 overdose deaths. This was a 14.5% increase from 2020.

The report states there are several contributing factors to the increase in overdose deaths, stating the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) believes that the most significant contributors have been the rise in illicit fentanyl and the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, "which brought a rise in overdose deaths and new addictions nationwide."

Fayette County is second when it comes to Kentucky counties with the highest number of drug overdose deaths involving both fentanyl and methamphetamine in 2021.

For the full report see below: