US Hits Record Number Of Drug Overdose Deaths

2020, the year with the most overdose deaths in the US 0:36

(CNN) – Reported drug overdose deaths in the United States hit a new record of more than 96,000 in the 12-month period ending March 2021, according to data released Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics. from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In those 12 months, the United States registered 96,779 overdose deaths, representing an increase of 29.6% between March 2020 and March 2021. The figures published this Wednesday are provisional data, since deaths from drug overdoses they require a “lengthy investigation” to be registered, according to the CDC.


The figures show an increase over the number of drug overdose deaths recorded during the 12-month period ending in February, but deaths have risen slightly more slowly. There was a 29.7% increase in reported drug overdose deaths between February 2020 and February 2021.

Three states saw their number of overdose deaths decline between March 2020 and March 2021: New Hampshire, New Jersey, and South Dakota. Reported overdose deaths in South Dakota decreased by 16.3%, the highest of any state.

The other epidemic in America: Overdose deaths 0:37

Vermont had the highest increase in overdose deaths of any state. Reported overdose deaths in Vermont increased 85.1% from March 2020 to March 2021. Vermont also saw the largest increase in the February data set.

Opioids, at the top of the list of cause of death by overdose

In the breakdown of CDC overdose death data by drug class, opioids accounted for the highest number of overdose deaths, followed by synthetic opioids, excluding methadone. Methadone remained the drug with the lowest number of overdose deaths.

Last year saw the largest increase in drug overdose deaths ever reported in the United States, with more than 93,000 deaths in 2020, the CDC said earlier this year, an increase of nearly 30% from 2019. In At the time, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, called the data “chilling,” saying the pandemic “created a devastating collision of health crisis in the United States.”

Countries with the highest drug production or trafficking 0:46

“This has been an incredibly uncertain and stressful time for many people and we are seeing an increase in drug use, difficulty in accessing life-saving treatments for substance use disorders and a tragic increase in overdose deaths,” Volkow said earlier this year.

This Wednesday’s update covers one of the deadliest periods of the covid-19 pandemic in the United States, where cases, hospitalizations and deaths increased from the end of last year and until the first months of 2021.