U.S. drug overdose deaths hit a record 107,000 last year, CDC says

NEW YORK – More than 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, setting another tragic record in the country’s escalating overdose epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated on Wednesday.

The tentative total for 2021 represents one overdose death approximately every 5 minutes in the United States. It marked a 15% increase from the previous record set the year before. The CDC reviews death certificates and then makes an estimate to account for late and incomplete reports.

dr Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, called the latest numbers “truly staggering.”

Overdose deaths in the US have been increasing for more than two decades for most years. The rise began in the 1990s with opioid painkiller overdoses, followed by waves of deaths led by other opioids such as heroin and, most recently, illicit fentanyl.

Last year, overdoses of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids surpassed 71,000, a 23% increase from the previous year. There was also a 23% increase in cocaine-related deaths and a 34% increase in meth and other stimulant-related deaths.


Overdose deaths are often attributed to more than one drug. Some people take multiple drugs, and the cheap fentanyl is increasingly being cut into other drugs, often unbeknownst to purchasers, officials say.

“The net effect is that we have many more people, including those who use drugs occasionally, and even adolescents, exposed to these powerful substances that can lead to overdose even with relatively low exposure,” Volkow said in a statement .

Experts say the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem, as lockdowns and other restrictions have isolated people with drug abusers and made treatment more difficult.

Overdose deaths are geographically heterogeneous. Alaska saw a 75% jump in 2021 – the largest jump of any state. Overdose deaths in Hawaii fell by 2%.


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https://www.local10.com/health/2022/05/11/us-overdose-deaths-hit-record-107000-last-year-cdc-says/ U.S. drug overdose deaths hit a record 107,000 last year, CDC says

Justin Scacco

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