CHA News

U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Hit Record High of 71,000 in 2019

For behavioral health directors

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Nearly 71,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2019, according to preliminary data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The record number of overdose deaths predates the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Experts predict the pandemic will only add to the increase in the number of overdose deaths. Reports show that fentanyl and similar synthetic opioids — which accounted for about 365,000 overdose deaths — are driving the trend, while deaths involving cocaine and methamphetamine are also rising.