Over 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Wednesday. Overdose fatalities, which already reached record highs in 2020, increased by 15 percent in 2021.
Last year’s numbers translate to roughly one overdose death every five minutes in the United States. In order to come up with a total, the CDC reviews death certificates and then makes an estimate to account for delayed and incomplete reporting.
U.S. drug overdose deaths have been steadily increasing since the 1990’s, fueled largely by abuse of prescription opioids. In recent years, illicit fentanyl has been killing Americans at a higher rate than heroin and prescription opioids.
Last year, overdoses involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids surpassed 71,000, up 23 percent from the year before. Deaths involving cocaine usage also spiked by 23 percent, as did deaths involving meth and other stimulants, which jumped by 34
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