Longer-term data, however, show an increase over the year from March 2017 to March 2018, as the short-term decrease was not enough to overcome the previous year’s increase. The provisional 12-month ending count – deaths during the 12-month period ending in the month indicated – went from 66,859 in March 2017 to 68,690 in March 2018, an increase of 2.7%, the NCHS reported.
That year-long increase was not spread evenly among the states. Nebraska’s 12-month ending count jumped over 48% from March 2017 to March 2018, more than twice as much as second-place Hawaii’s 20.9%. Montana had the largest drop over that year, –24.2%, with Wyoming next at –20.7% and the District of Columbia third at –14.8%, data from the National Vital Statistics System show.
“Provisional drug overdose death data are often incomplete,” the NCHS noted, “and the degree of completeness varies by jurisdiction and 12-month ending period. Consequently, the numbers of drug overdose deaths are underestimated, based on provisional data relative to final data and are subject to random variation.”