Addiction experts are now confirming what anecdotal evidence has long suggested.
COVID-19 has produced the most significant spike in deadly drug overdoses in decades.
From October 2019 through September 2020, more than 87,000 Americans died from a fatal drug overdose.
That's a 29% increase over the previous period and the largest single-year rise since the opioid crisis began in the 1990s.
The main drivers?
Synthetic fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, with stimulant drugs such as methamphetamine.
And while this epidemic of drug abuse and overdose deaths has impacted all demographics, past spikes hit white Americans hardest.
In the last 12 months, it's black Americans who have suffered disproportionately.
According to the source medicalexpress.com, Dr. Nora Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse now reports: "The highest increase in mortality from opioids, predominantly driven by fentanyl, is now among Black Americans. And when you look at mortality from methamphetamine, it's chilling to realize that the risk of dying from a methamphetamine overdose is 12-fold higher among American Indians and Alaskan Natives than other groups." Volkow also stated that more deaths than ever involved drug combinations (e.g., fentanyl or heroin combined with stimulants).
Overdose deaths had begun to drop in 2018 – but were climbing again in the months before the pandemic. With the isolation, emotional stress, and economic uncertainty it brought, COVID-19, appears to have dramatically accelerated that trend.
The loss of addiction services during the early months of the pandemic is also considered a major factor in the rise of overdose deaths.
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