New peak of 71K US overdose deaths in 2019 dashes hopes
July 16, 2020
Nearly 71,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year, a new record that predates the COVID-19 crisis, which the White House and many experts believe will drive such deaths even higher.
Preliminary numbers released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the trend is driven by fentanyl and similar synthetic opioids, which accounted for 36,500 overdose deaths. Deaths involving cocaine and methamphetamine also are rising.
With billions of dollars devoted to ending the opioid epidemic, policymakers had hoped overdose deaths would continue to decline, or at least pla...