Synthetic opioids are the leading cause of death for victims. The American president reacted to the news and said that the government is committed to doing everything in its power to address the 'overdose epidemic.'
The United States recorded 100,306 overdose deaths between April 2020 and April 2021, representing an increase of 28.5% over the previous period — there were 78,056 deaths between April 2019 and April 2020. The information estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ), American health agency.
It is the first time the US has passed the 100,000 overdose death mark in one year. Deb Houry, one of the CDC directors, reported that most victims were synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, a substance illegally manufactured in the country.
Following the release of the data, US President Joe Bidden declared in a statement: "the government is committed to doing everything in our power to treat addiction and end the overdose epidemic."
"As we continue to move towards defeating the Covid-19 pandemic, we cannot ignore this epidemic of disappearances, which has affected families and communities across the country," he added.
Fentanyl is an opioid that five years ago surpassed heroin as the drug most responsible for overdose deaths in the United States. According to the Associated Press (AP), traffickers often mix the substance with others, such as methamphetamine and cocaine.
Anne Milgram, director of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Justice Department's narcotics enforcement and control agency, told the AP that cartels located in Mexico use chemicals imported from China to produce and distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine In the USA.
In 2021 alone, the DEA seized 5,500 kilograms of fentanyl — an amount that is also a record, according to Milgram. As a result, overdose deaths increased in nearly every US state, as estimated by the CDC, except for Delaware, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and South Dakota. The highest high states were Vermont (70%), West Virginia ( 62%), and Kentucky (55%).
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