CDC: Drug Overdose Deaths Reach All-Time High In 2020-2021, But Here Are Some Promising Signs

Since the pandemic started, the opioid-use crisis has gotten worse, much worse. Provisional data posted  by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that drug overdose deaths overall reached a new record high. During a 12-month period from May 2020 to April 2021, over 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in the U.S. That was a 28.5% increase from the prior 12-month period.  

But not all of the trends have been doom and gloom. There have been some promising signs, particularly in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

“It’s consisted of evidence-based interventions, working with law enforcement,” Kelly Henning, MD, Public Health Program Lead at Bloomberg Philanthropies described.  

“It has included developing communications strategies, to reduce stigma and improving access to treatments. Each state is now doing more than 20 projects.” Reducing stigma is important because while other health and medical conditions may garner sympathy and more assistance, as Henning explained, “If someone has an addiction, people scatter.”