COVID-19 continues to dominate the news as it did throughout much of 2020.
Hidden from sight is the raging epidemic of drug overdose deaths across America.
That’s the number of Americans who perished from a drug overdose in 2020.
And that number represents a jump of 30% over the prior year.
According to the New York Times:
"Several grim records were set: the most drug overdose deaths in a year; the most deaths from opioid overdoses; the most overdose deaths from stimulants like methamphetamine; the most deaths from the deadly class of synthetic opioids known as fentanyls."
Why a deadly problem grew worse
According to experts, the pandemic contributed to heightened income insecurity, isolation, and depression. Those factors combined with a loss of treatment options proved deadly.
While the epidemic of drug overdose deaths touches all demographics hard, in 2020, young people and people of color suffered disproportionately.
Another enduring factor?
This deadly synthetic opioid is finding its way into more and more drug combinations – and it is many times more powerful than heroin. Just over 100 pounds of the stuff is enough to quickly kill 26 million people.
Also cause for concern – a rise in the number of physicians prescribing opioids for pain associated with post-covid syndrome.
That perplexing trend raises the question, have we still not learned the lesson of the past two decades?
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