U.S. Overdose Deaths Soared During COVID-19 Pandemic

Robert S. Hays

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There were more than 87,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States from October 2019 to September 2020, the highest of any one-year period since the nation's opioid crisis began in the 1990s.

THURSDAY, April 15, 2021 — There had been additional than 87,000 drug overdose fatalities in the United States from Oct 2019 to September 2020, the maximum of any 1-year interval considering that the nation’s opioid crisis commenced in the 1990s, preliminary government information reveals.

The death toll was 29% better than in the previous 12-month time period and the increase was mainly driven by Illicitly produced fentanyl and other artificial opioids, with stimulant medicine these kinds of as methamphetamine also actively playing a role, the U.S. Centers for Ailment Regulate and Avoidance reported.

Whites in rural and suburban areas accounted for lots of of the fatalities in the early many years of the U.S. opioid epidemic, but the most recent information displays Blacks being affected disproportionately.

“The maximum maximize in mortality from opioids, predominantly pushed by fentanyl, is now among Black Us citizens,” National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Dr. Nora Volkow reported at an dependancy convention last week, The New York Moments documented.

“And when you appear at mortality from methamphetamine, it is chilling to comprehend that the possibility of dying from methamphetamine overdose is 12-fold better amid American Indians and Alaskan Natives than other groups,” she included.

Volkow additional that more deaths than at any time included drug combinations, usually of fentanyl or heroin with stimulants.

“Sellers are lacing these non-opioid prescription drugs with more affordable, still potent, opioids to make a greater earnings,” she claimed. “An individual who’s addicted to a stimulant drug like cocaine or methamphetamine is not tolerant to opioids, which means they are likely to be at large threat of overdose if they get a stimulant drug that’s laced with an opioid like fentanyl.”

Overdose fatalities fell a little bit in 2018 for the initial time in a long time, but begun to climb once more the months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and experienced the greatest spike in April and May well 2020.

The pandemic possible exacerbated the upward craze of overdose fatalities, according to the Moments.

In the early months of the pandemic, numerous dependancy remedy facilities shut down, at least quickly, and products and services were being lowered at many drop-in centers that give assist, clean up syringes and the overdose-reversal treatment naloxone. In numerous instances, people services have not been fully restored.

Also, the drug overdose disaster has received significantly less awareness and means as the nation struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Instances claimed.

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