Estonia second after US in drug overdose deaths

In a recent study, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, it was revealed Estonia ranked second among the world’s wealthy nations in men’s drug overdose deaths after the United States – 20 in 100,000 deaths were due to a drug overdose in 2015.

Researchers from the US National Cancer Institute used “high-quality death certificate data” from the World Health Organization mortality database from the years 2001 to 2015 to conduct the survey.

In Estonia, in 2015, drug overdoses accounted for 20 deaths per 100,000 men, and among the countries included in the study, Estonia was ranked second.

In the US, however, 35 deaths in 100,000 men and 20 deaths in every 100,000 women occurred because of a drug overdose.

Estonia was followed by Norway, at 16 deaths per 100,000 men, and England and Wales, each at 15 deaths per 100,000 men.

“Overall, the absolute rates in men were generally double the rates in women, although we observed higher increases in rates among women than men in most countries,” Dr Yingxi Chen, the author of the study, said, adding that it was unclear why some nations are faring better than others.

The nations included in the study were Australia, Chile, Denmark, England and Wales, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the US – the 13 countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development with “high-quality death certificate data”, as the study put it.


The cover image is illustrative (Wikimedia Commons).

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor at Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain, the UK and all around the US, he now resides in Chicago, IL. He loves to write and besides working at Estonian World and doing some occasional blogging, he writes books and contributes to other outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at