Nationwide Suicide and Substance Use Deaths Rise

The Devastating Toll of the Pandemic – Highest Recorded Rates of Alcohol, Drug, and Suicide-Related Deaths in the U.S.


According to a report by Trust for America’s Health, during the first year of the pandemic (2020), 186,763 people died as a result of alcohol, drugs, or suicide. It marked a 20% increase compared to the year before. It is also the highest recorded number of alcohol, drug, or suicide-related deaths in a single year.

As reported by Trust for America’s Health, the number of people dying from drugs, alcohol, and suicide has been increasing for a number of years. The 2020 increase, however, was different. It was fueled by a 30% increase in the rate of drug-related deaths and a 27% increase in the number of alcohol-related deaths. All 50 states saw an increase in these deaths except for New Hampshire.

Drug-Related Deaths

The sharpest increase was in the number of drug-induced deaths. It was likely “largely driven by increases in deaths due to use of synthetic opioids and psychostimulants.” The opioid crisis continues to take an astounding number of lives each year. 

Many overdoses are related to fentanyl. Tragically, some illegal drugs are cut with fentanyl without the knowledge of the user. It only takes a small amount of the powerful, dangerous drug to be fatal.

Obtaining Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment

It is not uncommon for mental health and substance use disorders to be co-occurring. Seeking treatment for one or both of these diseases can help prevent tragedy. If you or someone you know is struggling with one of these conditions, help save their life or yours by seeking treatment now.