US annual drug overdose deaths hit record levels

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“More than 100,000 Americans have died of drug overdoses over a year-long period during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the highest yearly death toll from drugs ever recorded in the US. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that overdose deaths rose 28.5% in the 12 months ending this past April. Experts believe that overdoses likely spiked because of the psychological toll of the pandemic and more synthetic opioids like fentanyl in the supply. Overdoses rose in all but four of 50 US states. Using data from death certificates, the CDC estimates that 100,306 people between April 2020 and April 2021, compared to 78,056 deaths reported the year prior. Katherine Keyes, a drug abuse expert and associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, told the BBC that while overdose deaths have been rising ‘exponentially’ over the last several years, the pandemic ‘added fuel to that fire.'” (11/17/21)