Opioid crisis in US, amid the pandemic

Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States is also dealing with another national health crisis, one that has been going on for years and is only getting worse.

Iran PressAmerica: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently released preliminary data showing that US drug overdose deaths surpassed 100,000 for the first time in the twelve months ending April 2021, jumping nearly 40 percent since 2019.

The pandemic has been identified as a major contributor to the latest surge in overdose deaths. However, experts agree that it only exacerbated a crisis that existed long before COVID-19. While the unique circumstances of the past one and a half years have undoubtedly disrupted outreach and treatment programs while increasing levels of social isolation, the main problem lies in the availability and potency of synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Fentanyl is up to 50 times more potent than heroin and, due to its low price, it is often used to lace other drugs, which makes it especially dangerous. According to the CDC’s latest data, synthetic opioids were involved in more than 60 percent of overdose deaths last year.

“As we continue to make strides to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot overlook this epidemic of loss, which has touched families and communities across the country,” President Biden said in a statement, pledging that his administration will do everything in its power to “turn the tide on this epidemic.”


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World Newspapers: Overdose deaths in US surged in 2020