Health and Medicine

Drug overdose deaths top 100,000 in 12 months for the 1st time: ‘A tragic milestone’

By Brendan Morrow The Week

The United States has reached a “tragic milestone,” as a “staggering” number of overdose deaths were reported in one 12-month period.

Provisional data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed the number of overdose deaths in the United States surpassed 100,000 in 12 months from May 2020 through April 2021, NBC News and CNN report. The number rose 29 percent to 100,306 compared to 78,056 during the prior year. This was the first time ever with more than 100,000 overdose deaths reported in one year.

“These are numbers we have never seen before,” National Institute on Drug Abuse director Dr. Nora Volkow told The New York Times. “They leave behind friends, family and children, if they have children, so there are a lot of downstream consequences. This is a major challenge to our society.”

National Center for Health Statistics mortality statistics branch chief Bob Anderson also told NBC News, “It’s a staggering increase for one year.”

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