US overdose deaths in 2020 likely topped 90,000 

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Sumary of US overdose deaths in 2020 likely topped 90,000 :

  • Overdose deaths likely claimed the lives of nearly 90,000 Americans left isolated and broke amid the pandemic, new data suggests..
  • Between September 2019 and August 2020, there were 88,295 ‘predicted’ overdose deaths – a rough estimate based on early data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)..
  • That’s a record-high for that period, and outstrips drug overdose fatalities from the prior September-to-August period by 19,000 deaths..
  • Fatal overdoses belong to a category dubbed by the CDC ‘deaths of despair.’ Along with alcoholism and suicide, these fatalities are driven isolation and poverty..
  • The latest data are a sobering reminder that a second health crisis – the opioid epidemic – continues to rage in America, both overshadowed and fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic..
  • Overdose deaths for 2020 could easily exceed 90,000 by the time they are fully tallied, a Commonwealth Fund analysis predicts..
  • Three-quarters of those deaths involved opioids (green), and 80% of opioid deaths involved synthetic drugs like fentanyl (orange) At the start of the pandemic’s grip on the U.S., the overdose death surged by 50 percent compared to years prior..
  • Previously, the record for overdose deaths since the CDC began tracking overdose deaths in the 1990s was 6,300..
  • Even after the height of the winter and spring overdose surge in 2020, these deaths remained at record-high levels..
  • In August, models from the CDC and the Commonwealth Fund suggest that about 8,000 people died of drug overdoses Throughout the pandemic – and before it began – opioid overdose deaths were the main driver of the overall trends in drug fatalities..
  • And 80 percent of those opioid deaths involved synthetic drugs like the ultra-potent fentanyl that has become the top culprit in the overdose epidemic..
  • West Virginia has historically suffered the greatest number of opioid overdose deaths each year, as the epidemic has been particularly hard on the rural, poor state..
  • But during the pandemic, the sharpest rises were seen in Louisiana and South Carolina, which each saw overdose deaths increase by more than 60 percent between January and August of 2020 compared to the previous year…

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