Drug Overdose Deaths Have Reached Record Levels in the US Last Year

Drug Overdose Deaths Have Reached Record Levels in the US Last Year
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COVID lockdowns are likely linked to a record number of deaths caused by drug overdose in the US in 2020. We all know that people usually become more depressed while some of their freedoms are lacking, and that could be an explanation for them finding refuge in drugs.

Sky News is the publication announcing that according to government estimates, a record number of people from the US passed away last year due to drug overdose. To be more precise, it has been a staggering death toll of 93,000, which is a significant increase compared to 2019, when an estimated amount of 72,000 people died due to similar reasons. If we do a little math, we find out that the death toll from 2020 is equivalent to more than 250 people dying every day, or about 11 dying every hour.

New Hampshire and South Dakota are free from the increase of drug overdose deaths

New Hampshire and South Dakota are the only two American states that don’t qualify for the increase in drug overdose deaths from 2020. On the other side, large increases were seen in states like California, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

Credit: Pixabay.com, Free-Photos
Credit: Pixabay.com, Free-Photos

However, according to Shannon Monnat, who is an associate professor of sociology from Syracuse University, there’s no evidence that more people from the US started consuming drugs in 2020. The deaths were more likely to be occurring among people who were already struggling with drug addiction.

Fentanyl has likely pushed the drug deaths from the US to the record and sad levels from 2020, meaning a powerful opioid that’s used as pain medication and along with other medications for anaesthesia. Fentanyl is also used as one of the recreational drugs, and it’s sometimes mixed with cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine. Fentanyl is also a Schedule II controlled substance similar to morphine, but it’s roughly 100 times more potent.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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