North Dakota has one of the lowest overdose death rates in the nation; however, that doesn't mean that there isn't a problem here in the Peace Garden State

KEYZ AM 660 logo
Get our free mobile app

The most recent date put together by the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services gives a spotlight on just how many North Dakotans overdose annually.

Between 2019 and 2022, the number of people dying in North Dakota from accidental drug overdoses rose. In the four-year span from 2019 to 2022, the drug overdose death rate jumped 75 percent, from 0.98 per 10,000 to 1.71 per 10,000.

Overdose Deaths By Year


Two North Dakotans succumb to an accidental drug overdose every week, on average. Deaths due to overdoses occurred primarily among those younger than 39 years old, with an average age of 37.3 years. At least 75% of fatalities happened in residential areas or apartments. The toxicology results showed the presence of alcohol in 29% of the overdose deaths.

The male overdose death rate was 1.93 per 10,000 from 2019 to 2022, whereas the female overdose death rate was 0.98 per 10,000. The American Indian population had an overdose death rate of 8.42 per 10,000 from 2019 to 2022, whereas the white population had a rate of 1.12 per 10,000.

Overdose Demographics

The number of overdose deaths in North Dakota (ND) during 2019 was 29, according to official records. Since 2019, the overdose fatality rate in Sioux, Mountrail, and Benson Counties has been more than double the state average.

attachment-Screenshot 2024-02-27 121710

The toxicology data showed that most of the fatalities involved multiple substances, or polysubstances. Opioid and amphetamine combinations accounted for 38% of all drug combinations.

Fentanyl-Involved Fatalities Show No Signs of Declining Since 2019, the number of overdose deaths involving fentanyl has skyrocketed, reaching a peak of 1.19 per 10,000 in 2022. Fentanyl was found in the toxicological results of 61% of the overdose deaths that occurred during 2019.

The combination of fentanyl and the non-opioid tranquilizer xylazine is becoming more popular across the country. Nine overdose deaths involving xylazine have been documented in North Dakota.

Compounds Contributing to Drug Overdose Fatalities from 2019 to 2023

  • Deaths from Drug Overdoses That Were Not Intentional: 496
  • Opioids 334
    • Fentanyl 303
  • Amphetamines 278
  • Alcohol 43
  • Cannabis 140
  • Benzodiazepines 85

*Since a single instance may contain multiple compounds, the sum of the subsets will not equal the total, and some drugs found in positive cases may not directly correlate to an overdose or death.

32 Interesting Photos of Montana's Fantastic Dive Bars

Let's take a simple tour through Montana's towns, big and small. We're on a quest to catch the vibe of Montana's best dive bars - what they look like and where you'll find them.

Gallery Credit: mwolfe

Kay Michael Lee Studio Recognized for Performance Excellence at Grand Forks Competition

Gallery Credit: Mad Max


More From KEYZ AM 660