Top 5 Takeaways

  1. Significant Increase in Overdose Deaths: From 2019 to 2020, overdose deaths among Hispanic persons in Nevada spiked by 119.7%, a much higher rate compared to the overall state increase of 54.5%.
  2. Demographic Disparities: Males and individuals younger than 25 years saw the highest increases in overdose deaths, particularly among Hispanic males and youth, which were significantly higher than the overall rates for these groups.
  3. Fentanyl’s Role: There was a marked increase in deaths involving illicitly manufactured fentanyls, which rose by 134.5% among Hispanic individuals, surpassing the overall increase of 115.6%.
  4. Low Naloxone Administration: In 2020, only about one in three Hispanic decedents who died from opioid-involved overdoses had evidence of naloxone administration, highlighting a critical area for intervention.
  5. Focus on Harm Reduction: The Nevada Overdose Data to Action program is focusing on expanding harm reduction strategies, particularly among young Hispanic males, through increased access to naloxone and fentanyl test strips to prevent future deaths.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

Shawn A. Thomas,

Suggested Citation

Thomas SA, Dinwiddie AT, Monroy E. Notes from the Field: Increase in Drug Overdose Deaths Among Hispanic or Latino Persons — Nevada, 2019–2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:667–669. DOI:


This MMWR report highlights a significant increase in drug overdose deaths among Hispanic persons in Nevada from 2019 to 2020, particularly among young males, in the context of the broader opioid crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The analysis used data from the State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS), which includes detailed information from death scene investigations and toxicology reports to assess overdose deaths.


The discussion emphasizes the need for targeted harm reduction strategies and better utilization of life-saving interventions like naloxone and fentanyl test strips among high-risk groups.


The study underscores the disproportionate impact of the opioid epidemic on Hispanic communities in Nevada and calls for enhanced preventive measures to address this public health challenge.

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