Annual overdose deaths doubled in the United States between 2015 and 2021, according to a new government report.
CNN reports that an estimated 104,288 people died from overdoses in the 12-month period ending September 2021, compared with 52,000 in the year ending September 2015.
The report found that 14,000 more people died of overdoses last year compared with the previous year – a 16% increase. Most states saw an increase in overdose deaths compared with the previous year. About two-thirds of overdose deaths nationwide involved fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.
“Each of these tragic deaths is a reminder that we must not let up on our efforts to save lives,” Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said in a statement. “That’s why the Biden-Harris Administration is continuing to take decisive actions both to prevent the trafficking of illicit drugs like fentanyl and to expand access to high-impact public health services including overdose reversal medication, syringe services programs, effective addiction treatment, evidence-based prevention, and recovery support services.”