(RepublicanPress.org) – Last year started out good enough with the country experiencing one of its best economic outlooks in years. Unemployment was on the decline because former President Donald Trump implemented an effective series of trade tariffs on Chinese products to give American manufacturers an edge.
In an instant, things turned south once the COVID-19 virus hit American shores. In its wake, the nation experienced a rise in social unrest and coast-to-coast riots. Street crime decreased for a while due to quarantines, but spousal abuse and drug use spiked in many American households.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a provisional report detailing drug overdose death counts for 2020. According to its preliminary analysis, more than 93,000 people died due to a drug overdose in the United States last year. Sadly, that figure represents an increase of nearly 30% year-on-year with 2019’s figures.
The report also showed that the number of deaths rose in 48 states and the District of Columbia. New Hampshire and South Dakota were the only two states that saw a decreased death rate.
Officials blamed the rise in drug-related deaths on stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, a lack of access to adequate medical services, and increased use of fentanyl.
Unsettling Records Set
The CDC report showed America set several records in 2020 related to drugs.
- The highest overall number of drug overdose deaths in a single year.
- The highest number of overdose deaths from fentanyl, a deadly class of synthetic opioids.
- The highest number of overdose deaths from methamphetamines and other stimulants.
- The highest number of overdose deaths from opioids.
University of California, San Francisco, professor of medicine Daniel Ciccarone called the report’s findings “a complete shame.” He also said 2020 was an “unprecedented” and “historic” year for drug-related deaths.
This is stunning.
Drug overdose deaths.
— Eric Umansky (@ericuman) July 14, 2021
Drug Overdose Deaths vs. COVID-19
The New York Times took a look at some of the statistics for drug overdose deaths in 2020 and compared them with COVID-19 figures. The more than 93,000 deaths attributable to drug overdoses cost Americans a total of about 3.5 million years of life. However, the coronavirus figures were slightly higher, with COVID-19 deaths totaling roughly 5.5 million years of life for victims nationwide.
Additionally, the number of deaths from drug overdoses impacted America’s youth at a disproportionate rate.
There’s little doubt there is a relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and the number of overdose deaths. The number of overdose death spikes followed the pattern of the nation’s most severe periods of quarantines and economic contraction.
Sadly, the nation is still far from fully recovering from COVID’s impact, and the flu and cold season is just around the corner. But, with any luck, drug abuse is on the decline this year, and the Biden administration can accelerate its efforts to reopen the country.
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