The Covid-19 pandemic has fueled a rise in fatal drug overdoses in the United States, officials said Thursday, stressing that essential medical services must remain accessible despite coronavirus outages.
More than 81,000 drug overdose deaths were recorded in the United States each year through May, the highest number ever recorded in a 12-month period, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to him, the latest data show an acceleration of deaths caused by overdose, since the pandemic spread at the beginning of the year.
“The disruption of daily life due to the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected people with substance use disorders,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield.
“As we continue to fight to end this pandemic, it is important that we do not lose sight of the various groups that are affected in other ways. We need to take care of people who suffer from unintended consequences. “
More than 500,000 Americans have died from opioid overdoses – both prescription and over-the-counter – since 1999.
Corporate drug manufacturers, such as Purdue Pharma, have been convicted of criminal charges in connection with their actions to push unnecessary sales of prescription opiates, leading to a nationwide addiction crisis.
Illically manufactured fentanyl has been the main cause of the recent rise in overdose deaths, the CDC said.
On Wednesday, Canada said it also saw an increase in opioid deaths this year.
Experts said opiate users were at increased risk, in part due to unemployment and homelessness during the pandemic.
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