Summary: Drug overdose deaths in the United States reached a new record in 2022, with 109,680 people dying as the fentanyl crisis deepened. Eight states, including Washington and Wyoming, saw drug deaths surge by 9% or more. However, some states hard hit by the opioid-fentanyl epidemic saw significant declines in drug deaths.
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Record Drug Overdose Deaths in US Amid Deepening Fentanyl Crisis
Drug deaths across the United States hit a new record in 2022, with 109,680 people dying as the fentanyl crisis continued to deepen, according to preliminary data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Eight states, including Washington and Wyoming, saw drug deaths surge by 9% or more, with the greatest increases of 21% coming in these two states. Oregon also saw a 6.8% increase in drug deaths.
[Image credit: CDC – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]
Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, expressed concern that deaths continue to rise despite the end of disruptions linked to the COVID pandemic. However, some states hard hit by the opioid-fentanyl epidemic saw significant declines in drug deaths. Maryland and West Virginia, two states severely affected by the crisis, each reduced fatalities by roughly 7% from 2021 to 2022.
The White House described these latest numbers as progress, arguing that by slowing the increase in drug deaths, thousands of lives have been saved nationwide. However, only 1 in 10 Americans experiencing addiction currently receive medical treatment.[Source: OPB]
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