(ConservativeInsider.org) – The coronavirus pandemic affected Americans in a variety of ways. Some enjoyed more freedom as they figured out how to work from home, while others experienced extended isolation and financial difficulties that brought them to their knees. It turns out, over 100,000 Americans died after they turned to drugs to cope with the stresses of 2020.
CDC Reports 2020-2021 Overdose Deaths
On Wednesday, November 17, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released statistics on drug overdoses during the 12-month period from May 2020 until April 2021. Data revealed that deaths from overdoses during that period increased 28.5% from the year prior, from 78,056 to 100,306. While a few states saw the death tolls from opioids go down, states like Vermont, West Virginia, and Kentucky saw death increases between 55% and 70%.
These statistics are still predictions, as it takes time for investigators to find and report drug overdose deaths to authorities. While experts believe various stresses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, such as job loss and government-mandated shutdowns, likely fueled the surge in deaths, the prevalence of the opioid fentanyl likely also contributed to the deaths.
Honing in on Opioid Statistics
Of the over 100,000 drug overdoses, after the pandemic began, experts believe opioid-specific drugs caused 75,673, or around 75%, of them. The synthetic opioid fentanyl, which is between 80-100 times stronger than morphine and therefore incredibly dangerous, has become much more prevalent in recent months, worrying many experts.
Drug traffickers can smuggle fentanyl in much smaller doses and lace it in with counterfeit drugs quite easily. Although federal officials seized enough fentanyl this year to provide every US citizen with a lethal dose, authorities cannot predict how much still made it into the nation. Many believe President Joe Biden’s lack of border security contributes to the enormous amounts of fentanyl entering the US.
However, methamphetamine, cocaine, and prescription pain medication also contributed to the lethal statistics. With this latest set of data, drug overdoses exceeded car crashes, guns, and the flu for the most deaths caused, and they came very close to overtaking diabetes, the US’ seventh leading cause of death.
Choosing to Seek Help When Needed
Between the forced isolation, economic difficulty, and the flow of deadly opioids into this country, the Biden administration’s policies left so many Americans feeling helpless when it comes to drug and painkiller addictions.
If you or someone you know is struggling with drugs, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). The service operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
However, Americans must fight this battle on the community level, too. Reaching out to isolated neighbors and friends and encouraging those who need it to get help is the best way everyday Americans can fight this crisis on the frontlines.
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