More Americans than ever are dying from drug overdoses. More than 100,000 people died from overdoses in one year, during the Covid pandemic, making it the highest yearly death toll from overdoses ever recorded in US history.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published its report this week showing the shocking data. Death from an overdose rose an astounding 28.5 percent in a year period from April 2020 to April 2021.
Experts say one of the reasons for the huge increase in numbers is because of the psychological toll many have faced during the pandemic. They also pointed to the fact that synthetic opioid drugs, like fentanyl, are turning up in drug supplies without the user knowing it. People taking other drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine have been testing positive for fentanyl, showing the drug has infiltrated the batches.
In examining the data in a state by state basis, the overdoses rose in every state besides four. Vermont had the highest state increase, with a rise of 70 percent to 209 deaths in the small state. West Virginia and Kentucky had the second and third largest spikes at 62 and 55 percents respectively.
The official number the CDC reported was 100,306 for the year period ending in April 2021. For the year April 2019-2020, that number was more than 20,000 lower, at 78,056 deaths reported.
With more than 100,000 deaths, drug overdoses are now a bigger killer from guns, car crashes and the flu.