Overdose deaths surpass 100,000

Published 2:37 pm Friday, January 14, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released data that deaths from drug overdose have hit an all-time high in the U.S. and experts are suggesting that the COVID-19 pandemic may be to blame.

According to the CDC’s latest available death certificate data, 100,300 Americans died of drug overdoses from May 2020 to April 2021.

In Virginia those numbers translate to a 42% increase in fatal overdoses from 2020 to 2021.

It is estimated that in Virginia, 2,620 Virginians are projected to die from overdoses of fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, prescription opioids, methamphetamine and other drugs in 2022.

The latest data from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia shows Prince Edward County reporting less deaths by overdose. According to data, there were four deaths in 2021, compared to one reported in 2020.

Medical experts believe there are two reasons for the increase in drug deaths.

The growing rate of which the deadly drug fentanyl is used and the COVID-19 pandemic, which left many drug users socially isolated and unable to get treatment or other support.

When it comes to fentanyl, new data suggests that the highly lethal opioid surpassed heroin as the type of drug involved in the most overdose deaths over the past five years.

According to the CDC drug overdoses now surpass deaths from car crashes, guns and even flu and pneumonia.

The total is close to that for diabetes, the nation’s No. 7 cause of death.