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This simulation is based on statewide Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts provided by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. Based upon the assumption that fentanyl deaths within a state are distributed similarly to total drug overdose deaths by county, the general location of fentanyl deaths have been simulated using the CDC’s annual Underlying Cause of Death datasets for 2015 through 2019. Since the Underlying Cause of Death datasets have not yet been released for 2020 and 2021, Conquer Addiction has assumed that deaths in these years follow the same per-county distribution as in 2019.
States started reporting overdose deaths by substance to the National Center for Health Statistic’s National Vital Statistics System at different times, and some states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota & Pennsylvania) are still not doing so. Conquer Addiction has attempted to correct obvious errors by using trend data in surrounding states to estimate overdose death trends in these states, but this simulation undoubtedly underreports fentanyl deaths in some states and potentially overreports in others for different periods of time.