Sumary of Overdose Deaths Increased by Nearly 30% in 2020:
- Share on PinterestDrug overdose deaths rose sharply during the first year of the pandemic, partly due to a more dangerous illegal drug supply.
- Drazen Zigic / Getty ImagesA new report from the CDC estimates 93,331 people died from a drug overdose in 2020 in the United States.
- That’s nearly a 30 percent increase from the previous year, and a far higher number than the previous peak of roughly 72,000 deaths in 2017.Experts say that opioids, particularly illegally manufactured fentanyl, significantly contributed to the rise in overdose deaths during the pandemic.
- Drug overdose deaths in the United States increased by almost 30 percent during 2020 over the previous year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported at the beginning of July.
- The agency estimates that 93,331 people died from a drug overdose last year in the United States, far more than the previous 12-month peak of about 72,000 deaths in 2017.Opioids, in particular illegally manufactured fentanyl, were the main driver behind the rise in overdose deaths during the pandemic.
- “Synthetic opioids other than methadone, a category that includes illicitly manufactured fentanyl and its analogues, were specifically involved in 62 percent of these overdose deaths,” Regina LaBelle, acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), said in a written statement.
- “Many doctors are advising their patients, and harm reduction programs are telling people, no matter what you think you’re using, fentanyl can be out there,” Saloner said.
- In the past, the opioid crisis has often been depicted as mainly affecting white Americans living in rural parts of the country.