July 19, 2022
The Opioid Crisis: a 2022 Update
The opioid crisis shows no signs of slowing in 2022 after being exacerbated by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
US Overdose Deaths Hit Record Highs Last Year
More than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, a record number according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That’s approximately one overdose death in the United States every five minutes.
The 107,000 drug overdose deaths in 2020 — compared to just over 70,000 deaths in 2019 — represent the largest year-to-year increase in recent history for the United States and by far the largest absolute number of drug overdose deaths ever reported.
Pandemic Worsened Opioid Epidemic
Researchers have theorized that the worsening of the opioid epidemic during the pandemic is due to several factors, including
More dangerous drug supply (synthetic opioids such as fentanyl)
Disruption of treatment and recovery support systems
Increased levels of social and economic stress
Emergency medical services reported increases in overdose-related cardiac events, with rates 50% higher in 2020 than May 2019.
States and cities documented increases in overdose deaths as well as nonfatal drug overdose cases. The states of Rhode Island and ...