2019/2020 Coroner’s Report on Accidental Drug-Related Deaths in New Orleans

  • The number of accidental drug-related deaths in Orleans Parish increased by 51% in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, there were (365) accidental drug deaths. In 2019, there were (241). 

  • In 2020, (204) were Black, (151) were White, (6) were Hispanic, and (4) were other/unknown. In 2019, (115) were Black, (113) were White, (4) were Hispanic, (3) were Asian, and (6) were other/unknown.
  • As in previous years, toxicological analysis in most drug-related deaths revealed the presence of multiple drugs.
  • In 2020, (284 or 78%) tested positive for fentanyl (a synthetic opioid), a 107% increase compared to 2019, when (137) tested positive for fentanyl.
  • In 2020, (148 or 40%) tested positive for cocaine, a 52% increase compared to 2019, when (97) tested positive for cocaine.
  • In 2020, (66 or 18%) tested positive for amphetamines, a 32% increase compared to 2019, when (50) tested positive for amphetamines.
New Orleans Coroner, Dr. Dwight McKenna, says, “The opioid epidemic in Orleans Parish is being fueled by a highly lethal, synthetic opiate known as fentanyl. As a result, street drugs in New Orleans are more deadly than they have ever been. In 2020, the number of overdose deaths in New Orleans was almost double the number of homicides.”