Across the country, the rate of Americans dying of overdoses is once again rising, in some states, dramatically. Before the pandemic hit in 2020, federal and state targeted efforts to stop people from dying from overdoses had resulted in declines in overdose deaths for the first time in three decades. Unfortunately, that progress has been reversed in 2020 and drug deaths are up an average of 13 percent over last year.
In parts of Ohio, for instance, drug overdose deaths are up more than 50 percent compared to the same time last year, an upward shift mirrored in New York, Florida, and parts of Pennsylvania. Overdose deaths have doubled in Chicago and are up in other parts of Illinois. Maryland and New Jersey are also seeing spikes in overdoses. According to data from the New Jersey state drug information dashboard, drug overdose deaths jumped 20% this year; 1,339 people died of suspected drug overdoses in the first five months of the year, 225 more than were recorded in 2019 over the same time period.
Read the full Press Release on National Addiction Expert Warns of Deepening Drug and Alcohol Epidemic as U.S. Overdose Deaths Soar
Additionally, the press release received some attention from a Chicago newspaper, who also published a copy of it.