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Over 100,000 Overdose Deaths in the U.S. in 2021, An All-Time High

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Overdose deaths rose in 2021 in the United States to more than 100,000 deaths, the highest number in history, according to an interim balance sheet released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report predicts the number of deaths using data from the National Center for Health Statistics, which is usually updated on the first Sunday of each month.

The document released today by CDC is considered provisional, as the data may be incomplete and are subject to change.

The exact number of overdose deaths they predict for 2021 is 107,622, an increase of nearly 14% over the previous year, which was already particularly bad because of the impact that covid-19 confinements have had on drug abuse.

Overall, during the first two years of the pandemic — 2020 and 2021 — overdose deaths grew by 45% over those recorded in 2019.

A large number of these deaths, about two-thirds, are related to the use of opioids, such as fentanyl, the data show.

Since the turn of the century, nearly 850,000 people have died in the United States as a result of opioid abuse, including drugs prescribed by physicians for pain management.

According to the CDC, opioid overdose deaths have increased 6-fold since 1999.

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