The U.S. reached the grim milestone of 100,000 drug overdose deaths annually, a sign that the opioid crisis deepened at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
An estimated 100,306 Americans died from an overdose in the 12 months ended in April, a period that included months of lockdowns and business restrictions across the country, according to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The toll is up 29% from the previous year.
About three-quarters of the total were overdoses from opioids, which rose 35%, killing 207 Americans a day on average during the period. That’s 54 more on a daily basis than a year earlier, CDC data show.
Most major drug categories saw an increase, including: fentanyl, a chemical powerful enough to kill in tiny concentrations; natural and semi-synthetic opioids, such as prescription pain medication; psychostimulants like methamphetamine; and cocaine.