In keeping with other evidence we have seen globally, the latest drug overdoses emphasize the fact that, for many people, the side effects of the Covid pandemic are far more lethal than the disease itself. Drug overdoses skyrocketed in the last year according to estimates from the CDC. Upwards of 100,000 Americans are believed to have died from drug overdoses in the period from May 2020 to April 2021,a leap of 30% from previous years.
Drug overdose deaths spike in year of Covid
Drug overdoses are now one of the leading causes of death in the United States, surpassing car crashes, gun violence, and pneumonia.
Obviously, there are many factors which have contributed to this concerning trend; some of those factors are rooted in social maladies which arose decades ago.
The dramatic nature of the spike from 2020 to 2021 makes it clear, however, that Covid has played a major role in driving the current rise in drug overdose deaths.
This is not a difficult assumption to make; the pandemic and its effects have impacted the lives of most humans through the measures enacted by governments to control the spread.
Studies in multiple countries have found that the social isolation and economic downturns associated with lockdowns have caused an increase in depression and suicide.
Coupled with a decline in the availability of support and medical assistance, the situation is perfect for producing the kind of unprecedented overdose death numbers the CDC has estimated.
Fentanyl exceeds heroin deaths
Fentanyl is believed to have caused the highest number of overdose deaths, continuing a trend started several years ago when it overtook heroin.
It remains unclear whether or not George Floyd is included in the figures for fentanyl overdose deaths. Regardless, the drug is apparently becoming increasingly popular with drug dealers and users.
President Biden called the rise in deaths a tragedy and the White House has vowed to press Congress for action on the overdose crisis.
The extent to which the White House is positioned to do anything substantive is rather dubious, despite their calls for a general increase in spending to counter the apparently Covid related rise in overdoses.
Most of the overdose causing drugs come into the country through the southern border, a border which this administration has showed no interest in securing.
And ultimately the crisis will continue so long as the underlying causes remain. The economy is getting worse and people are becoming increasingly hopeless and detached from society. If anyone can address that problem it certainly won’t be Joe Biden.