Deaths from drug overdoses in the United States reached an all-time high over the course of a 12-month period at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, according to federal data. An educational pamphlet and samples of naloxone, a drug used to counter the effects of opiate overdose, are displayed at a news conference at the fire station in Taunton, Mass. A recent surge in heroin overdoses in Taunton has shed light on an epidemic that has plagued the state and nation. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola
Drug overdose deaths hit record high during pandemic 12-month period
Elizabeth Faddis October 13, 10:27 PM October 13, 10:27 PM
Deaths from drug overdoses in the United States reached an all-time high over the course of a 12-month period at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, according to federal data.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report Wednesday, with provisional data showing that over the course of a 12-month period ending in March 2021, the number of deaths from drug overdoses reached a high of 96,779.
This rise in drug-related deaths marks a roughly 30% jump over a year that occurred at the height of the pandemic amid lockdowns, Axios reported.
Though the majority of the states experienced a rise in deaths from drug overdoses, South Dakota, New Jersey, and New Hampshire recorded a drop in deaths during the 12 months, according to the data.
In July, the National Center for Health Statistics reported drug overdose deaths had spiked to a record of 93,000 during 2020, signifying a 30% spike in drug-related deaths from the previous year. This amount, combined with the already recorded 841,000 deaths between 1999 and 2019, brought the total of lives lost due to drug overdoses to more than 900,000, according to CDC data.
The Biden administration issued a press release in May, calling for additional funding to combat addiction amid the record levels of drug overdoses in the U.S.
Regina LaBelle, the acting director of the National Drug Control Policy, said in the statement that President Joe Biden‘s call to increase funding for substance abuse prevention and treatment came at a time when the country “urgently” needed to “implement evidence-based policy priorities” to tackle the overdose epidemic plaguing the country.
Nevada recently reported seeing a 55% increase in opioid overdoses, accounting for 788 deaths during 2020.
Amid a rise in drug usage, federal law enforcement agencies have continued to tackle the networking and sale of opioid drugs in the U.S., with the Drug Enforcement Agency releasing a statement on Sept. 27 warning about fake prescription medications containing methamphetamine and fentanyl.
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