As Americans Looked Away, 93,000+ Overdosed

While the pandemic pulled attention from the opioid crisis, more than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in the US last year, according to provisional data released yesterday by the National Center for Health Statistics.
That’s a 30% increase over 2019—more than double the estimated number of motor vehicle fatalities (42,617).
Behind the surge: During the pandemic, anti-addiction medication became harder to obtain—just as stress increased and users were more isolated from first responders or loved ones who could administer naloxone.
More fuel: Opioids, primarily illegal fentanyl, were behind most deaths—but methamphetamine and cocaine-related deaths also rose.
The Quote: During the pandemic, “we took our eye off the opioid epidemic,” said Tami Mark, a senior fellow at the think tank RTI International. “When we weren’t looking, it got horribly worse.”
The Washington Post

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