In the United States, as the virus circulated with speed and killed men and women, numerous people died in total silence. We are talking about the 100,000 individuals who died from overdose.
These are the dramatic, and unfortunately still provisional data produced by the National Center for Health Statistics, for the period from April 2020 to April 2021. The deaths from overdose, coinciding with the period of the pandemic, have increased by almost 30 %, compared to 78 thousand registered in the previous year.
It is also the first time in the US that the threshold of 100 thousand drug victims has been reached, a figure that exceeds that of the sum of deaths from car accidents and firearms. The data, the researchers note, has more than doubled compared to 2015. The figures, although they show a slowdown starting in September, however, point to a real public health crisis in the US, partly overshadowed by the Covid-19 emergency that it has captured much of the attention of the authorities and public opinion.
Indeed, experts believe that the pandemic itself has led to a surge in overdose deaths. “These are numbers we have never seen before. These deaths have wide-ranging repercussions, as most of them occur among people between the ages of 25 and 55, ”commented Dr Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, quoted by The New York Times. S.
These people have not had the opportunity to access treatment, thus increasing their health problems. “As we continue to strive to defeat the Covid-19 epidemic, we cannot ignore this other epidemic that affects families and communities across the country.” This was stated by Joe Biden, pointing out that the United States. “To all the families who mourn the death of a loved one and to all the people who suffer from addiction or are in the recovery community, I say that you are in our hearts and you are not alone, together we will be able to stop this epidemic” added the president recalling that with the American Rescue Plan 4 billion have been allocated to strengthen programs to combat addiction. “We are working to make health care more accessible to all Americans,” he concluded, underlining the intention to strengthen prevention and support programs for people in recovery.
The rise in deaths – the vast majority caused by synthetic opioids – has been fueled by the widespread use of fentanyl, a fast-acting drug that is 100 times more potent than morphine. Increasingly, this substance is covertly added to other illegally manufactured drugs to increase their potency. Overdose deaths related to the use of stimulants such as methamphetamine, cocaine and natural and semi-synthetic opioids, such as prescription painkillers, have also increased.
The conditions of social isolation and psychological stress caused by the pandemic, experts believe, created a vortex in which thousands of frail or simply poorly informed people ended up succumbing to the effects of the drugs and drugs they were taking.