By: Teddy Grant
Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, drug overdose deaths increased by nearly 30% in the United States last year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Over 93,000 people died from overdoses in 2020, up from 72,151 who died in 2019, data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics showed.
“Overdose deaths from synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) and psychostimulants such as methamphetamine also increased in 2020 compared to 2019. Cocaine deaths also increased in 2020, as did deaths from natural and semi-synthetic opioids (such as prescription pain medication),” the NCHS said in a statement on Wednesday, CNN reported.
Brown University public health researcher Brandon Marshall told the Associated Press that “this is a staggering loss of human life” and that COVID-19 has largely worsened the crisis.
The director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Nora Volkow, confirmed that the number of deaths recorded is the highest in a 12-month period, according to CNN. “These data are chilling. The COVID-19 pandemic created a devastating collision of health crises in America.”