Over 100,000 Americans died of DRUG OVERDOSES during pandemic, CDC report says

The CDC released data showing that during the pandemic, 100,000 Americans died from a drug overdose.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the data regarding drug overdose deaths that occurred during 12 months of the pandemic. It estimated that there were 100,306 deaths from overdose between April 2020 and April 2021. This is a record number of deaths caused by overdose in the US. The previous year, there were 78,056 overdose deaths, meaning there was a 28.5% increase from one year to the next.

Deaths coming from opioid overdose made up the majority of overdose deaths, clocking in at 75,673, compared to the previous year’s 56,064. The number of deaths coming from cocaine, synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, psychostimulants, like methamphetamine, and natural and synthetic opioids, like pain medication, also increased.

President Joe Biden responded to the news in a statement, calling it a “tragic milestone” and an “epidemic of loss”. He said his administration would be doing everything in its power to address addiction. Four million dollars from the American Rescue Plan will be going towards “​​strengthen[ing] and expand[ing] services for substance use disorder and mental health.”

He said they were aiming to make care more accessible for Americans, as well. In closing, he said, “To all those families who have mourned a loved one and to all those people who are facing addiction or are in recovery: you are in our hearts, and you are not alone.”

“No one should die from an overdose, and naloxone is one of the most effective tools we have to save lives,” remarked Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. “This is unacceptable and it requires an unprecedented response.” Katherine Keyes, a Columbia University expert on drug abuse issues spoke on the data, saying the number is “devastating,” and that “It’s a magnitude of overdose death that we haven’t seen in this country.”

Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, director of the American Health Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said, “This is a momentous tragedy hidden by the pandemic. It’s heartbreaking how many families have been affected by an overdose this year.”

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