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US Drug Overdose Deaths Top 100,000 In 1 Year, 30 Percent Increase

US Drug Overdose Deaths Top 100,000 In 1 Year, 30 Percent Increase

Drug Overdose Deaths

US Drug Overdose Deaths Top 100,000 In 1 Year, 30 Percent Increase. In this photo made available by the Florida Highway patrol shows confiscated drugs following the arrest of two men Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, Santa Rosa County, Fla. Authorities confiscated methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl. (Florida Highway Patrol via AP)

The U.S. is losing the war on drugs terribly as drug overdose deaths topped 100,000 in a one-year period for the first time. This is up 30 percent from the previous year, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday.

Data from April 2020 to April 2021 reveals most of the deaths (64,000) have come from synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The numbers have risen amidst the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which experts say have caused more dangerous drugs to be more widely available, Aljazeera reported.

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, agreed with the contributing factors in an interview with CNN.

“What we’re seeing are the effects of these patterns of crisis and the appearance of more dangerous drugs at much lower prices,” Dr. Volkow said. “In a crisis of this magnitude, those already taking drugs may take higher amounts and those in recovery may relapse. It’s a phenomenon we’ve seen and perhaps could have predicted.”

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Dr. Andrew Kolodny is the medical director of opioid policy research at the Brandeis University Heller School for Social Policy and Management. He said even without covid, drug abuse is a major problem.

“These are deaths in people with a preventable, treatable condition. The United States continues to fail on both fronts, both on preventing opioid addiction and treating addiction,” Kolodny told CNN.

In response to the crisis, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced a new Overdose Prevention Strategy on Oct. 27. It will target four key target areas – primary prevention, harm reduction, evidence-based treatment, and recovery support

With this new strategy, we’re breaking new ground to address the full range of drug use and addiction that can result in overdose and death,” said Secretary Becerra. “We’re changing the way we address overdoses. Our new strategy focuses on people — putting the very individuals who have struggled with addiction in positions of power. And thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we can address what so many people have seen in recent years: a rise in overdoses that can risk a person’s life – and affect their entire family.”