US overdose deaths topped 100,000 in one year, officials say

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials say an estimated 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in one year. That’s a total the nation has never seen. Experts say it’s tied to the COVID-19 pandemic and a more dangerous drug supply.

Overdose deaths have been rising for more than two decades. But they accelerated dramatically in the past two years — jumping nearly 30% jump in the last year alone.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the new figures Wednesday.

The numbers for the period from May 2020 to April 2021 aren’t yet final.

Experts blame the increase on the growing prevalence of deadly fentanyl and also point to the COVID-19 pandemic, which left many drug users socially isolated and unable to get treatment or support. The following digital embed of a map shows the change in overdose deaths by state from April 2020 through April 2021. This map is current as of Nov. 17, 2021 and will not update. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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