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CDC reports record-breaking 81,000 drug overdose deaths this year

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on December 18, 2020

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the intake of fatal drug overdoses, as per media reports.

The CDC noted that this has led to more than 81,000 drug overdose deaths this year, the highest number ever recorded within a 12-month period.

It maintained that essential medical services should be accessible to all even when the pandemic is raging in the country.

“The disruption to daily life due to the Covid-19 pandemic has hit those with substance use disorder hard,” CDC director Robert Redfield told the media.

“As we continue the fight to end this pandemic, it’s important to not lose sight of different groups being affected in other ways. We need to take care of people suffering from unintended consequences,” he added.

According to the CDC figures, the number of deaths spiked 18.2 per cent from the 12-month period ending in June 2019 to the 12-month period ending in May 2020.

This seemed to be influenced largely by deaths involving synthetic opioids like illicitly manufactured fentanyl, according to the CDC.

The CDC also revealed that cocaine-related overdose deaths also increased by 26.5 per cent in the 12-month period. These were likely connected to using cocaine together with illicitly manufactured fentanyl or heroin.

Published on December 18, 2020

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