(9 April 2021)  As the coronavirus forced shutdowns, the number of drug deaths in the US started spiking. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that in 2020* the rate over overdose deaths in the US rose 25% over the previous year. Isolation, stress, loss of income and lower availability of support and health services during COVID-19 health crisis are thought to be the key reasons for growing number of drug overdose deaths.

  • Drug overdoses killed an estimated 85,516 people during a twelve-month period ending in August 2020. Deaths from synthetic opioids, the highest contributor to drug overdose deaths, increased over 50% year-over-year.
  • A state-by-state breakdown of CDC data shows that twenty states reported a 30% or greater increase in drug overdose deaths from August 2019 to August 2020. Louisiana and Washington, DC, recorded the steepest increases — 52% and 58%, respectively.

* year-over-year in the 12 months leading up to August 2020.

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