Preliminary data from the federal government reportedly shows more Americans died from drug overdose in a 12-month period in which the United States shut down normal daily routines than at any other point in history. According to the most recent data on overdose deaths, 2020 will go down as the deadliest year in history for overdoses.
In the 12 months — the United States experienced 96,779 drug overdose deaths, an increase of 29.6% from March 2020 to March 2021. Overdose deaths require the registration of a “long-term study” according to the CDC. The figures, released on Wednesday, show an increase in the number of deaths in cases of overdose of drugs reported during the 12-month period ending in February, but deaths have risen slightly more slowly. There was a 29.7% increase in reported deaths from drug overdoses between February 2020 and February 2021.
Drug overdoses were linked to more than 81,000 deaths between June 2019 and May 2020, jumping 18 percent compared to the previous 12-month period. Such deaths rose 20 percent or more in 25 states and the District of Columbia, the report said.
Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, called the data “cooling” and said the pandemic “created a devastating collision of health crises in America”. “This has been an incredibly uncertain and stressful time for many people, and we are seeing an increase in drug use, difficulty accessing life-saving treatments for substance abuse disorders and a tragic increase in overdose deaths,” Volkow said earlier this year (News of America).