Drug-overdose deaths increased during the first months of the pandemic, especially in rural areas, according to preliminary numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The increase may not be correlated with the pandemic, since overdose deaths have been on the rise since before the pandemic.
"The U.S. had record-high drug overdose deaths in 2019, according to CDC data, with opioids involved in 2 out of every 3 drug-related deaths," Noah Fish reports for the Duluth News Tribune. "If the trend shown in the most recent CDC study continues, the country will set a new record for drug overdose deaths again this year.The biggest increase in fatal overdoses happened in rural South Dakota, where drug-related fatalities increased by nearly 50 percent," Fish reports. "There were over 19,000 fatal overdoses in the U.S. from January through March of this year, according to CDC data, which is close to 3,000 more deaths than the same time frame last year."