Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a historic 30% increase in overdose deaths throughout the United States from 2019 to 2020. In one year, overdose death rates increased 44% for Black people and 39% for American Indian and Alaska Native people, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report.

Learn more about these new findings and what can be done to prevent overdose deaths and related disparities.

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Media Briefing Hosts:

  • Debra E. Houry, M.D., M.P.H., CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director and Director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
  • Mbabazi Kariisa, Ph.D., M.P.H., Health Scientist, CDC’s Division of Overdose Prevention

What may have started as a prescription for many, is a growing problem across the country. Too many are dying from drug overdoses. The U.S. set a record for drug overdose deaths with more than 107,000 fatalities last year, according to new data released by the CDC. That’s a 15% increase from 2020 and a nearly 50% increase from 2019. The data reveals that about two-thirds of those deaths involved synthetic opioids, like fentanyl. According to this CDC, in 2020, there was a total of 114 overdose (drug-related) deaths in North Dakota and 83 in South Dakota.

Every aspect of the opioid crisis requires great care. From understanding the risks and benefits of pain medications to knowing the signs of addiction, to recognizing an overdose and knowing how to help.

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