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Drug Overdose Deaths Jumped 30% Last Year in U.S.

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News Picture: U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Jumped Nearly 30% During PandemicBy Ernie Mundell and Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporters

WEDNESDAY, July fourteen, 2021

As The united states went into lockdown and remedy facilities closed their doors, drug overdose fatalities in the United States jumped by virtually a 3rd last yr, new information clearly show.

The estimated ninety three,331 drug overdose fatalities recorded for the duration of 2020 are a sharp raise — a 29.four% increase — in excess of the seventy two,151 fatalities estimated in 2019, according to preliminary information from the National Middle for Health and fitness Data (NCHS). The NCHS is portion of the U.S. Centers for Ailment Management and Avoidance.

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, named the new numbers “chilling.”

“”This is the highest amount of overdose fatalities at any time recorded in a twelve-month time period, and the largest raise since at minimum 1999,” she reported. “The COVID-19 pandemic created a devastating collision of well being crises in The united states.”

The new NCHS information also clearly show that overdose fatalities from opioids, exclusively, spiked from 50,963 in 2019 to 69,710 in 2020, about a 27% increase.

Overdose fatalities from synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) and psychostimulants these as methamphetamine also rose from 2019 to 2020, the report discovered. There were being also will increase in fatalities from semi-synthetic opioids these as prescription soreness prescription drugs and from cocaine.

Volkow, who was not associated in the new report, reported the sharp and tragic increase in overdoses stems from a blend of variables.

“This has been an exceptionally unsure and stress filled time for lots of folks and we are seeing an raise in drug intake, issues in accessing lifesaving treatment options for material use issues, and a tragic increase in overdose fatalities,” she reported.

Dr. Teresa Murray Amato has seen conditions of overdose firsthand in her role as chair of unexpected emergency medicine at Extensive Island Jewish Forest Hills, in New York Metropolis.

“Individually I have discover lots of patients complaining about sleeplessness, enhanced stress and anxiety and struggles with drug misuse as a usually means of self-medicating,” she reported. “If you or a loved just one are concerned about drug misuse, make sure you achieve out to your medical professional and make a safe program.”

Amato believes variables other than COVID may have been at play. “Over the earlier yr we have also seen enhanced social unrest, major to common enhanced stress and anxiety as folks are exposed to violent pictures in the news additional regularly,” she reported.

A further pro reported COVID fears held lots of from trying to get enable.

Some folks “prevented trying to get care for psychological well being or material use issues – irrespective of the reality that health care companies, like our own clinic, began to consider, confess and take care of patients remotely anywhere feasible, in purchase to take away boundaries to accessibility,” reported Dr. Timothy Sullivan, chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Staten Island College Healthcare facility in New York Metropolis.

“Most opioid remedy courses, these as methadone courses, radically transformed their policies concerning provision of take-home bottles, for occasion, in purchase to aid accessibility,” he additional.

All the experts agreed that accessibility to timely well being care is essential.

“As we carry on to address the two the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid disaster, we have to prioritize creating remedy solutions additional greatly available to folks with material use issues,” Volkow reported.

The new NCHS information integrated described and predicted drug overdose fatalities nationally and in every jurisdiction, as perfectly as described and predicted drug overdose fatalities involving specific prescription drugs or drug courses.

Far more data

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has additional about drug overdose fatalities.

Resources: Nora Volkow, MD, director, National Institute on Drug Abuse, U.S. Centers for Ailment Management and Avoidance Timothy Sullivan, MD, chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Staten Island College Healthcare facility, New York Metropolis Teresa Murray Amato, MD, chair, unexpected emergency medicine, Extensive Island Jewish Forest Hills, New York Metropolis news launch, July fourteen, 2021

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