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2020 U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Highest Ever at 93,331, an Increase of Almost 30%

2020 U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Highest Ever at 93,331, an Increase of Almost 30%

Humans are not robots. Lockdowns cause more problems healthwise than help.

Preliminary reports and numbers indicate in 2020, over 90,000 people died of a drug overdose in the U.S., an increase of almost 30%:

The estimated 93,331 deaths from drug overdoses last year, a record high, represent the sharpest annual increase in at least three decades, and compare with an estimated toll of 72,151 deaths in 2019, according to provisional overdose-drug data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“That is a stunning number even for those of us who have tracked this issue,” said Brendan Saloner, associate professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Our public health tools have not kept pace with the urgency of the crisis.”

Brandon Marshall, a public health researcher at Brown University, said, “COVID has greatly exacerbated the crisis” of drug overdoses in America.

The data shows fentanyl led the charge:

Fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin, is now frequently mixed into other widely used illicit drugs, often when the user is unaware. “Fentanyl is poisoning our drug supply,” said Monique Tula, executive director of the National Harm Reduction Coalition, an organization that advocates for people who use drugs and trains the harm reduction workforce.

An estimated 57,550 people died of overdoses from synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, an increase of more than 54% over 2019, according to Robert Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. “Definitely fentanyl is the driving factor,” he said. Overdose deaths from opioids overall rose nearly 37%, according to the CDC data.

I’m not always 100% into causation. Overdose deaths began increasing in the fall of 2019. However, it is hard to ignore that the overdose deaths escalated in March 2020 when the lockdowns began.

Methamphetamine and cocaine deaths also rose during the pandemic.

Governments did not think about how the harsh restrictions would affect those with mental health issues or drug addicts.

Those in treatment for drug addiction saw their treatment either change or stop. People who wanted treatment found themselves at a brick wall:

Tiffany Sales had been on and off drugs for her entire adult life when she went into a casino bathroom early one morning in the first week of January this year in Atlantic City, N.J., her hometown. The 52-year-old former concessions operator was found dead later, a crack pipe in her hand, said her sister, Lisa C. Oliver.

Ms. Sales had weaned herself off drugs several times, and held down supervisory-level jobs when she was clean, said Dr. Oliver, an instructional designer for a healthcare system and a grief counselor who lives in Atlanta. Normally in only sporadic touch with family members, Ms. Sales had reached out early in the pandemic. “She left a voice mail saying, with all that’s going on, I want to keep in touch,” Dr. Oliver recalled.

Sales is not the only one:

Jordan McGlashen died of a drug overdose in his Ypsilanti, Michigan, apartment last year. He was pronounced dead on May 6, the day before his 39th birthday.

“It was really difficult for me to think about the way in which Jordan died. He was alone, and suffering emotionally and felt like he had to use again,” said his younger brother, Collin McGlashen, who wrote openly about his brother’s addiction in an obituary.

Jordan McGlashen’s death was attributed to heroin and fentanyl.

I wonder how many started taking drugs because of the lockdowns. Businesses had to close, leading to job losses and a lack of money. People lost their homes or apartments. The lockdowns kept people away from family and loved ones. Social isolation consumed even the mentally healthiest of people:

“It’s about isolation, about disruption in life, and maybe exacerbation of mental-health symptoms,” said Adam Maslowski, clinical coordinator for outpatient services for treatment provider Phoenix House in Long Island City, N.Y., who shifted to telehealth services early in the pandemic but also kept a walk-in clinic open.

“A lot of people love Zoom, but there is something about face to face contact,” he said. The provider has offered both in-person and virtual care since last summer.

I’m a hermit. I do not keep my severe social anxiety a secret. It’s debilitating and exhausting, but even I craved human connection during the lockdown. Human contact is essential. I love that I could meet with my therapist and psychiatrist on Zoom, but I feel so much better since we resumed in-person appointments.

The fact is you do not have to have mental issues or drug addiction for an almost year-long lockdown to affect your health.

We all knew the lockdowns would contribute to these deaths. The CDC preliminary findings confirm our worst fears.


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2smartforlibs | July 14, 2021 at 1:16 pm

Not a Murmer from Shaman Fauci on this while he keeps pushing.


Drugs come in from Open Borders.

2021 drug over doses will surely be 50% more than 2020.

Not Prescription… well controlled, over control actually

It’s the illegal crap that’s WAY TOO POTENT

So the overdoses started creeping up fall 2019…

Makes sense, Trump and the boards have been restricting narcotic prescriptions to the point you have to literally be dying to get any, and now the Drs for cancer patients have to fill out the same ridiculous forms for them so to intimidate even those who suffer the most among us.
I know this personally so please, don’t preach.
Not saying there wasn’t a period of time opiates weren’t handed out like candy, but the pendulum has swung wayyy to far and now people are seeking sources that , let’s say, aren’t “pharmaceutical grade”…

Who probably wouldn’t be

Yes there are the seekers, God I know, and Medicine has great blame for that in the past

But let’s look at the whole picture shall we?

So if we just focused on keeping the elderly and infirm isolated, instead of trying to have 100% social distancing… we probably would have the same numbers of deaths from Covid (maybe a lot better if we really focused on protecting the elderly from people like Cuomo) and AND AND!!! we might have 25,000 less deaths from overdoses as people had to deal with government imposed isolation.

I’m pretty sure the numbers are inflated by 40% or more…. when hospitals can make 3x more with a covid diagnosis, you can bet many people you did not die of covid were diagnosed with Covid

Sorry China Virus President Trump

    mark311 in reply to gonzotx. | July 14, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    “pretty sure the numbers are inflated by 40% or more”

    On what basis do you make that statement?

Did they include George Floyd in this number?

    vinnymeyer in reply to buck61. | July 14, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    Oooh! Something with the word fentanyl on it! Now we have a visual to go with our news story!

    People aren’t dying from prescription fentanyl patches or from vials of fentanyl used in anesthesia. They’re overdosing on street drugs that have had fentanyl added to give them more of a kick. THEY ARE VERY DIFFERENT.

    I treat patients with chronic pain. The problem isn’t “Trump and the boards”, the problem is doctors are an easy target and it’s become politically incorrect to blame drug cartels and gangs for the huge influx of illegal drugs.

      buck61 in reply to vinnymeyer. | July 14, 2021 at 10:10 pm

      the prescription quality drugs have a level of consistency in the dosage and effect, the street level buyer has no idea what the dosage is pill to pill let alone what other dangerous chemicals that were used to create the pill. There is or was a small groups of pill pushers that pushed the legal pills, those people and the profiteers need to be dealt with in the court systems.

JusticeDelivered | July 14, 2021 at 6:07 pm

I was wondering how many of those overdosing are long term leaches on society, as opposed to people who became addicted from prescribed use?

My theory is when Wa legalized pot, the cartels started hustling this stuff up here and at prices far lower than legalized pot (the did this with heroin too). Similar with Ca and Or with their ease of access to medical marijuana- which cut the cartels out.

Washington’s pooping zombie addict infestation arrived not long after pot was legalized. The Cartel is still getting paid, but for a different drugs.

E Howard Hunt | July 14, 2021 at 8:49 pm

These numbers pale in comparison to drug underdose survivals.

Overdoses were going up before the pandemic and have been an epidemic for the last several years so using this as a justification for being anti-lockdown is not the way to go. Since medical marijuana was passed in CA and legal opioids promoted as safe and nonaddictive, we have had a relentless drive to legalize drugs that can cause enormous harm. Drug cartels obliged and flood our country with potent drugs. My son got addicted to “medical” marijuana very young thinking it was “good for you” and “harmless” which affected his grades and athletics, then he became an injecting heroin user by the time he was 20 (2011). He was using many other drugs, alcohol, and having drug-induced psychosis as well. He said he started heroin because marijuana wasn’t doing it for him. Quitting opioids is extremely difficult but he finally did. The people he knew who were using heroin were not as lucky–they are all dead. Harm reduction, now the dominant ideology of drug policy (promoted by Soros’ Drug Policy Alliance) blames all these drug overdose deaths on “prohibition,” not drug addiction.

The best way to contain overdoses is to tell kids the risks of drug use, and marijuana and alcohol as teens compromise the dopamine system. If we prevent/delay drug/alcohol use, fewer will get addicted, switch up to harder drugs, and all the consequences of addiction like homelessness, domestic violence, child abuse, DUI. Keep going after the cartels and regulate drugs that are already legal. It will not save everyone, but people who don’t use drugs don’t get addicted or die of overdoses.