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U.S. drug overdose deaths reached all-time high in 2021, CDC says

U.S. drug overdose deaths reached all-time excessive in 2021, CDC says

Fentanyl continues to drive the vast majority of overdose deaths within the nation.

Might 11, 2022, 2:01 PM UTC

Greater than 107,600 People died from drug overdoses final yr, the very best annual dying toll on file, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention mentioned Wednesday.

Overdose deaths elevated 15 % in 2021, up from an estimated 93,655 fatalities the yr prior, in keeping with a report from the CDC’s Nationwide Middle for Well being Statistics (NCHS), which collects information on a variety of well being matters, together with drug use.

Whereas the whole variety of deaths reached file highs, the rise appeared to sluggish in comparison with the change seen from 2019 to 2020, when overdose deaths rose 30 %, in keeping with the report.

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It is nonetheless too early to say whether or not that slowdown will maintain, mentioned Farida Ahmad, a scientist on the well being statistics middle. The company’s newest report is taken into account provisional, that means the information is incomplete and topic to vary.

Even when the rise in overdose deaths is smaller in comparison with final yr, the 2021 whole remains to be an enormous quantity, Ahmad mentioned.

The info helps illustrate one of many penalties of the pandemic, which has seen an uptick in substance abuse amid widespread unemployment and extra People reporting psychological well being points.

Overdose-related deaths have been already growing earlier than the pandemic, however there was “clearly a really sharp uptick in the course of the pandemic,” mentioned Joseph Friedman, an habit researcher on the College of California, Los Angeles. He revealed analysis in April that discovered drug overdose deaths amongst youngsters rose sharply during the last two years.

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In line with the NCHS report, fentanyl, a strong artificial opioid, was concerned in probably the most overdose deaths in 2021: 71,238.

Methamphetamine was implicated in 32,856 overdose deaths, cocaine in 24,538 deaths, and prescription ache medicines in 13,503 deaths.

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Friedman mentioned that illicitly manufactured fentanyl, specifically, is a big downside within the U.S., as it may be packaged as tablets.

This month, Ohio State College officers warned of “faux Adderall” tablets laced with fentanyl following the dying of a scholar.

Ahmad agreed that fentanyl is a big downside, however added that different medication, like methamphetamines, are additionally concerned in a lot of deaths, significantly in Western states.

The largest proportion improve in overdose deaths in 2021 was in Alaska, the place deaths have been up 75.3 % in comparison with the earlier yr, in keeping with the report.

To fight the overdose deaths, Friedman mentioned the U.S. ought to spend money on hurt discount and remedy applications for folks with substance abuse issues.

The issue impacts some teams greater than others — Native People probably the most, whereas the overdose dying charge for Black folks has overtaken whites, he mentioned.

Comply with NBC HEALTH on Twitter & Fb.

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