Overdose deaths hit record 93,000

The pandemic saw a 29% increase in drug overdose deaths, even as the nation was already struggling with the worst overdose epidemic.

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July 15, 2021 - 9:30 AM

OxyContin, in 80 mg pills, in a 2013 file image. A Michigan physician is charged with conspiracy to illegally distribute prescription drugs and 13 counts of distributing opioid pills, charges that could send him to federal prison for at least 10 years. (Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

NEW YORK (AP) — Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government reported Wednesday.

That estimate far eclipses the high of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths reached the previous year and amounts to a 29% increase.

“This is a staggering loss of human life,” said Brandon Marshall, a Brown University public health researcher who tracks overdose trends.

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