Drug overdose deaths in 2020 hit highest number ever recorded, CDC says

More than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2020, according to the latest data from the CDC
drug overdoses

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)- According to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that came out today, drug overdose deaths rose by almost 30% in the United States during 2020, making it the highest number ever recorded.

More than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2020, data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics tells us. That’s an increase of 29.4% from the 72,151 deaths projected for 2019.

“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.

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This is the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period, and the largest increase since at least 1999,” Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, said in a statement. “These data are chilling. The COVID-19 pandemic created a devastating collision of health crises in America.”

Similar to recent years, most of the deaths were due to inappropriate use of opioids. NCHS data shows that overdose deaths from opioids rose from 50,963 in 2019 to 69,710 in 2020.

“This has been an incredibly uncertain and stressful time for many people and we are seeing an increase in drug consumption, difficulty in accessing life-saving treatments for substance use disorders, and a tragic rise in overdose deaths,” Volkow said. “As we continue to address both the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid crisis, we must prioritize making treatment options more widely available to people with substance use disorders.”

SEE ALSO: 2.5 LBs of Fentanyl, $33K found along I-80

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