Drug-overdose deaths in 2021 topped 100,000 for the first time in a calendar year, federal data showed, a record high fueled by the spread of illicit forms of fentanyl throughout the country.
More than 107,000 people in the U.S. died from drug overdoses last year, preliminary Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released Wednesday showed, roughly a 15% increase from 2020. The proliferation of the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl has been compounded by the destabilizing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on users and people in recovery, according to health authorities and treatment providers.
The U.S. has recorded more than one million overdose deaths since 2000, and more than half of those came in the past seven years.
The agency has counted about 103,600 overdoses for 2021 but believes the number is several thousand higher due to suspected overdoses that haven’t yet been confirmed by local death investigators, Dr. Anderson said.
Author(s): Jon Kamp
Publication Date: 11 May 2022
Publication Site: WSJ