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According to CDC data, the number of deaths from drug overdose exceeds 100,000 per year for the first time, driven by fentanyl.

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In the 12 months to April 2021, more than 100,000 people died from drug overdose in the United States, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is a record high, with overdose deaths increasing by 28.5% year-on-year.

Opioids continue to be the driving force behind death from drug overdose. According to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, caused nearly two-thirds (64%) of all drug overdose deaths in the 12 months to April 2021.

According to experts, the increased use of Covid-19 pandemics and fentanyl are both major contributors to the increased death toll from overdose.

The latest interim data on deaths from drug overdose capture what happened between May 2020 and April 2021. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Covid-19 killed about 509,000 people in the same time frame.

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“What we see is the impact of these crisis patterns and the emergence of more dangerous drugs at much lower prices,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Substance Abuse. I told CNN. “In a crisis of this magnitude, those who are already taking the drug will take more and those who are recovering may relapse. This is a phenomenon we have seen and could probably be predicted. . “

However, she said, the rise of fentanyl, a more powerful and fast-acting drug than natural opiates, makes these effects even more deadly.

Before the Covid-19 hit, the increased use of synthetic drugs attracted expert attention, but the pandemic may have exacerbated the problem.

Due to limited travel abroad, easy-to-manufacture and concentrated compounds are likely to be more efficient for cross-border smuggling, Forkou said.

New federal data show a significant increase in deaths from overdose from methamphetamine and other psychostimulants, a 48% increase over the previous year in the year to April 2021. They accounted for more than a quarter of the deaths from overdose in the last 12 months.

Fentanyl was once again popular on the East Coast and methamphetamine was again popular on the West Coast, but Volkow says both are now growing nationwide.

Pandemic shadow epidemic: drug overdose deaths reach record highs in the United States

Deaths from cocaine and prescription analgesics also increased compared to a year ago, but not so dramatically.

As the country reopens and society returns to its pre-pandemic normal state, experts say that if measures are not taken to significantly improve access to treatment, people will have a very high rate of drug overdose. He says he will continue to die.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Medical Director of Opioid Policy Research at Brandeis University Heller School of Social Sciences, said: Policy and management.

“These are the deaths of people in a preventable and treatable state. The United States continues to fail in both the prevention and treatment of opioid addiction,” he said, with President Joe Biden in his campaign. Emphasized the need to fulfill his promise. Deal with the crisis.

The Biden administration is tackling American addiction as deaths from overdose hit record highs

Last month, the US Department of Health and Human Services released an overview of the Biden administration’s plans to combat drug overdose. This includes measures aimed at addressing opioid prescribing practices and removing barriers to treatment, as well as recovery and federal support for harm reduction strategies.

On Wednesday, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy released a model law, providing the state with a template to pass its own law to improve access to naloxone, a drug that reverses opioid overdose. Did.

“If you really want to turn the corner, you have to reach a point where you have more access to the treatment of opioid addiction than fentanyl, heroin, and prescription opioids,” Korodney said of drugs containing buprenorphine.

“There is really clear evidence that using drugs to treat opioid addiction can save lives,” said Beth Connolly, director of the Pew Charitable Trust’s Substance Prevention and Treatment Initiative. “As there is more and more evidence that (medicine) saves lives, it hopes to reduce stigma and classification in favor of helping individuals.”

Death data from provisional overdose are updated monthly by NCHS and are subject to change. Deaths from drug overdose often require “long-term investigations, including toxicity tests” to determine the cause of death.

In 2019, heart disease was the leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 660,000 people, according to CDC data. Cancer killed nearly 600,000 people in 2019, but accidents, chronic lower respiratory tract disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease each killed more than 100,000 people. These numbers reflect the final annual update and cannot be compared directly with the interim data.

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