US overdose deaths continue their rise, data shows, with ‘devastating impact' on population
October 14, 2023 | by voicesriseup
The number of drug overdose deaths in the United States is still increasing every month, according to new data, but the pace appears to be slowing.
New estimates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics projects that more than 112,000 people died from a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending in May, an increase of more than 2,700 from the previous year.
There were 112,024 overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending in May, compared with 109,261 in the 12-month period ending in May 2022, a 2.5% increase.
Dr. Katherine Keyes, a professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, noted that the increase is leveling off.
“We still have an extraordinary number of overdose deaths that is orders of magnitude higher than we’ve seen in previous years,” she said. However, “the increase that we [saw] in 2021 has slowed down.”
These month-to-month increases are gradual, and Keyes notes that the latest increase in deaths is still lower than the jumps in drug overdose deaths seen during the early years of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Overdose deaths spiked 30% between 2019 and 2020 and rose another 15% between 2020 and 2021, according to the CDC.
“There were extraordinary increases in 2020 and 2021 that have started to flatten out in 2022 – now going into 2023. They’re not declining yet,” Keyes said. “But the pace of the increase is certainly slowing.
So that is both good news and indicative of a continuing public health crisis.”
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