CDC Reports Record-High Overdoses in 2021
As reported by NBC News, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded over 107,600 drug overdose deaths in 2021. The number marked the highest drug-related death toll in recorded history.
Overdose deaths related to drug use increased by 15% last year. In 2020, fatal drug overdoses were approximated at 93,655. From 2019 to 2020, overdose deaths rose 30%.
There are a number of potential reasons for the high numbers, including:
- Anxiety over the pandemic
- Stress-related to financial uncertainty
- Isolation due to government and school shutdowns
- Increased production and availability of fentanyl
As noted by NBC News, fentanyl overdose deaths soared to 71,238 in 2021. The fentanyl crisis continues across the country. The synthetic opioid is cheap to produce and easy to move. It is also extremely dangerous and toxic.
Regions with the Largest Drug Deaths
Drug-related deaths in 2021 rose the most in Alaska. The state saw a 75.3% increase compared to the past year. Other western states also saw a large number of drug deaths. However, the problem afflicted individuals throughout the U.S.
Certain demographics were also more affected, as noted in the reporting. Native Americans and black people died from drug-related deaths more often than other groups.
Ways to Deal with Drug Addiction
It is suggested that increased funding be provided for drug treatment and rehabilitation. A significant amount of people have a diagnosable drug use disorder, but few ever seek treatment. The earlier a person seeks treatment, the better outcome they are likely to have.