New Peak of 71K US Overdose Deaths in 2019 Dashes Hopes

WASHINGTON (AP) – Nearly 71,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year.

It’s a new record peak that predates the coronavirus crisis, which 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.

Those drugs accounted for 36,500 overdose deaths. Deaths involving cocaine and methamphetamine also are rising.

The 2019 numbers reflect the situation before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many experts believe the isolation and anxiety of the pandemic may lead to more overdose deaths.

About Justin Saunders

Justin Saunders has nearly 10 years of experience in radio, television, online and newspaper journalism across the US and Canada. Justin joined the NewsCenter in May 2014 and continues to help provide coverage of the Cape and Islands.
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