US: Opioid Deaths Rise by 29% to 93,000 People in 2020

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A record number of Americans died of drug overdoses last year as pandemic lockdowns created widespread depression creating a huge increase in demand for legal and illegal synthetic opioids. Fentanyl is a dangerous synthetic street drug that is 50 times stronger than morphine and heroin, and many people accidntally overdose on fentanyl. US deaths from drug overdoses rose nearly 30% to more than 93,000 in 2020 – the highest ever recorded. -GEG

A record number of Americans died of drug overdoses last year as pandemic lockdowns made getting treatment difficult and drug dealers laced more of their products with a powerful synthetic opioid, according to data released on Wednesday.

U.S. deaths from drug overdoses leapt nearly 30% to more than 93,000 in 2020 – the highest ever recorded.

“During the pandemic, a lot of (drug) programs weren’t able to operate. Street-level outreach was very difficult. People were very isolated,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, a health policy expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

Arman Maddela, 24, recognizes he was at risk of being among those who died. A recovering addict, he relapsed during the pandemic and was using fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine, and heroin.

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