A new report finds almost 187,000 Americans died from alcohol and substances such as synthetic opioids and psychostimulants, as well as suicide, in 2020. This represents a 20% one-year increase in the combined death rate and the highest number of substance-driven deaths ever recorded for a single year.
The report, Pain in the Nation, was released this week by Trust for America’s Health and Well Being Trust. It found that while substance-driven and suicide deaths have been increasing for decades, the 2020 increase was unprecedented. It was driven by a 30% increase in the rate of substance-driven deaths and a 27% increase in the rate of alcohol-induced deaths.
“The data are shockingly clear – lives are at risk in every community due to alcohol, drugs, and suicide and communities that experience disadvantage because of long-standing social, economic, and environmental inequities suffer a disproportionate impact. There is an urgent need for action in order to save lives,” J. Nadine Gracia, M.D., MSCE, President and CEO of the Trust for America’s Health, said in a news release.