Fierce Health IT October 20, 2021
While the U.S. was grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there was another growing health crisis. Public health officials and providers have sounded the alarm about a surge in drug overdose deaths since the pandemic began.
At least 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a nearly 30% increase from 2019. And while deaths from natural and semi-synthetic opioids stayed relatively flat, overdose deaths from synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, rose 43%, driving the bulk of all drug overdose deaths, according to the CDC data.
Experts are alarmed by the high jump. The U.S. is in the midst of a “poly-substance crisis,” Sheila Vakharia, deputy director of the department...